Tech experts found that Google continues to upload your photos on the company’s cloud servers long after you uninstalled Google Photos app. The service continues to sync the photos you take with your smartphone camera without any prior notification.
The glitch was detected only in Android systems; iPhones reported no similar error.
David Arnott, a columnist at the Upstart Business Journal, was the first to report the issue. He wrote July 10 that he discovered hundreds of recently taken photos of him and his family in Google Photos app although he deleted the pictures and uninstalled the app. The pictures were nicely organized by the app’s facial recognition software when the editor reinstalled Google Photos on his phone.
But there’s also a solution to the “glitch.” Before uninstalling the app, you need to switch off the “back up and sync” option. You can do that after you uninstalled Google Photos, as well, but make sure that you delete any photos the service continued to upload long after the app was gone.
You can find “back up and sync” option under the hamburger-shaped menu button in the upper left of the application. From there press settings and you should see the option.
The back-up option was introduced into the app with a nice intention. It automatically uploads pictures to the cloud so you don’t have to worry about phone storage. Also, it tags the pictures, so you can use key words to easily find a picture of your choice.
The software tags photos after it had analyzed them with its facial recognition tools. It can accurately detect faces and places and classify them into a logical order. For instance you can type “white cat” and you can find all the pictures of white-colored felines you snapped. Additionally, you can label the pictures yourself, especially those with people in them.
In June, Google Photos’ product managers said that the pictures stored by the company’s app were kept private and secure.
Yet, finding after several years that the app has quietly stored private pictures of let’s say your baby or naked spa on Google’s servers is kind of disturbing. Moreover, the app uploads screenshots as well although some people wouldn’t want all their personal life to be posted on the Internet.
Several experts confirmed that the glitch occurs only on Android devices. According to Google Photos’ support page, you can only disable the back-up feature within the app. But some experts claim that they managed to do it in the “Google Settings”, which is another app installed on some Android devices.
Image Source: Android Central