Google Photos is great because as a cloud-based photo storage system, it allows users to upload photos that can be accessed anywhere. Users can also create photo albums and share those privately with friends or family members, or at least that’s what many have been led to believe.
However, researcher Robert Wiblin has published a post on Medium in which he reminded users that your private Google Photos shared links are actually not-so private. This is because it has been found that anyone who has the link can access your photos. This means that in the event you share the link with the wrong person, they’ll be able to access it even if you did not mean to let them.
Google is actually aware of this and has stated a disclaimer on its website, indicating that, “Anyone that has the shared link will be able to see the album”. It does seem to be a huge oversight by the company, especially when you consider the fact that Google Drive seems to employ a different link generation system that only lets chosen recipients access the files.
We’re not sure why Google has not opted to do the same with Google Photos, but regardless, the next time you are thinking about creating a “private” link to your Google Photos, you might want to think twice before doing so, or maybe consider creating a folder in Google Drive to help make it more secure.
In the meantime, users who might have any photo sharing links floating about can head on over to Google’s website to find out how to stop sharing an album.