One of the most exciting new Google products the company unveiled during Google I/O is the new Google Photos application. Free, unlimited photos and videos storage and backup are some of its most important features, but there’s one thing you should be aware about Google Photos before you start using it.
Google will likely mine more of your data as you’re using Google Photos, which is something it does with all the services you sign into and agree to use. That’s hardly surprising, and definitely not a bad thing if you’re already comfortable using Google’s services that do similar things. One such example is Google Now, which leverages the information it learns about you to assist you during the day, or Gmail, which “reads” your email to offer you ads that might interest you.
Reports in Business Insider and Fortune raise awareness that Google Photos is indeed an advanced software application that can be used to learn things about you, which in turn can be used for advertising purposes.
“One of the coolest — or creepiest, depending on your perspective — features is how it uses facial recognition technology, so you can search for a specific person just by clicking or tapping a photo of his or her face,” Business Insider notes.
On top of that, Google can recognize objects and places that appear in your photos, which can be also be used for ads. Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt wonders what he “has just given Google” after uploading his entire family of photos to Google and reading its terms of service
In some ways, Google Photos is as searchable as Gmail, meaning it might offer many additional details about its customers. If you’re not comfortable with sharing your data with Google, you won’t be comfortable Google Photos either.