Google's new Photos app is a service that wants to "organize your memories." But what Anil Sabharwal, head of Google Photos, didn't tell you on Thursday is that all the photos you upload to Google's service can be used by Google for marketing and promotion.
The slimy detail is buried in the app's lengthy Terms of Service, which most people will not be familiar with. It's written in legalese and is buried far off the path to install the app.
The clause buried in the terms means Google reserves the rights to use anything you decided to upload for both marketing and other, vague, purposes. Given Google's record on privacy abuse that's a big unknown.
The clause reads:
When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.
The new service is looking to build a massive archive of data as it allows users to push huge collections of pictures onto the service.
But what constitutes "prompting and improving" the service? As Yahoo showed earlier this week, techn companies play fast and loose with your privacy and their 'improvement' could very well be your privacy invasion.
This type of sliminess needs to stop from mammoth tech giants like Google, who should know better. They should tell users in plain English what they will and won't use their data for and provide specific examples.