Google Photos for iOS Gets 'Locked Folder' for Sensitive Snaps

Google Photos users on iPhone can now lock their most sensitive images and videos in a special passcode-protected folder, thanks to a new feature rolling out to the iOS app.

google photos app
Previously only available on Android phones, the privacy-oriented Locked Folder feature allows users to save photos and videos in the app within a separate space that requires Touch ID, Face ID, or a passcode to access.

Media saved in the folder remains hidden, meaning the sensitive photos don't show up as users scroll through their Google ‌Photos‌ or any other apps on their device.

Speaking to The Verge, Google said that Locked Folder content backed up to the cloud is done so securely. “We protect this data with multiple layers of security, including leading encryption technology like HTTPS and encryption at rest,” said a Google spokesperson.

Regardless, users aren't compelled to use the new backup feature if they don't want sensitive content on Google servers, and can opt to store photos in the Locked Folder on their device instead.

google photos locked folder
Google touts its photo and video backup service as "a safe home for life's memories," thanks to the "world-class security" and encryption it uses "to protect the photos that you back up or share."

Despite those safeguards, in 2020 Google was forced to contact some 100,000 users to inform them that some of their private videos backed up on its servers had been accidentally sent to strangers due to a "technical issue."

As part of the rollout, the settings screen in the Google ‌Photos‌ app is also being updated for easier access to privacy, sharing, backup, notifications, and other options.

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Top Rated Comments

JippaLippa Avatar
10 months ago
You trust google (or Apple, for that matter) with "sensitive" pics?!
Good luck!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MGrayson3 Avatar
10 months ago
I love the idea of saving Google the time and effort of finding the pics I most don't want them to see. Might as well call the folder "Look in here first".
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac mini power user Avatar
10 months ago
We all know what kind of memories will go into this folder. Still, it's a nice feature.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will Co Avatar
10 months ago

Do you really believe Google cares to look at your photos?
I don't believe that they won't
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacProFCP Avatar
10 months ago
You know what’s the best way to not have your “personal” pictures hacked? Never take them in the first place.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roncron Avatar
10 months ago
Gmail users enjoy customized ads for products and services that fit their lifestyle, as determined by the algorithms used by Google and the companies they sell your information to after analyzing your emails and browser history.

Amd now, thanks to this new feature, they’ll also get customized ads for lubes, vibrators, and other intimate products based on the algorithmic analysis of their “private” photos. It’ll be less intrusive than having a marketing company in your bedroom.

Hard pass. (pun intended)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)