Google recently announced Google Photos that offers unlimited storage of a user's photos. The unlimited Cloud storage may appear free to users but it comes at the price of a user's privacy.
Taking pictures and sharing them with friends, family and even the public have become very common. Managing and organizing the growing number of photos can become a huge problem for many individuals. Google Photos is available on Android, iOS and via the web; it allows people to organize, categorize and easily find their photos and videos, which makes it easy to search them.
Google Photos is smart and searches images based on the content of an image. It also has a facial recognition technology that allows searching a specific person just by tapping at the face on a photo.
Google Photos may solve a big problem of organizing photos; however, it may also spy on the privacy of individuals. Google breathes advertising and more than 90 percent of its revenue comes from advertising.
Experts believe that with Google Photos the company will offer convenience of organizing photos to its large user base but that will affect the privacy of the users. Google may search image contents and offer customized advertisements to individuals.
For example, if Google Photos detects a beach in a photo it may advertise holidays to the individual. Similarly, Google Photos may detect the type of shoes or clothes the person is wearing in a photo and advertise similar products. Whatever Google does, it does to understand its users better so that they can offer custom advertisements.
Bradley Horowitz, who is Google's VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing, suggests that the company does not have any plans to monetize Google Photos, at least for now.
"The information gleaned from analyzing these photos does not travel outside of this product - not today. But if I thought we could return immense value to the users based on this data I'm sure we would consider doing that," says Horowitz. "For instance, if it were possible for Google Photos to figure out that I have a Tesla, and Tesla wanted to alert me to a recall, that would be a service that we would consider offering, with appropriate controls and disclosure to the user."
Google has a very strong user base and customers will be attracted to a new and free service such as Google Photos. However, customers should also be aware of the actual cost involved with the free service offered by Google.