iPhone users have the luxury of taking breathtaking pictures, especially with the new iPhone 13 Pro Max. The ability to take low light photos and having telephoto, wide and ultra-wide cameras at your disposal makes you shoot away one after the other.
The 1TB also makes you forget that you have to erase duplicates. But cloud photo storage allows you to store a lot more than what your iPhone can hold. But this amount of storage is also the reason why you need to do a double-take on the technology especially if you are using Google Photos. A lot of it has to do with security and how your photos are processed.
Why are we talking about Google Photos?
There are two main reasons – one is that they lead the cloud storage industry in terms of reach. Did you know they have over a billion users which are all responsible for almost 4 trillion photos in their cloud storage? A lot of iPhone users also use Google Photos to store their images.
Considering the reach that they have, it makes the second point all the scarier – the Google platform is believed to have huge access to your photos once you save them in the cloud. This is meant to monitor Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM) being shared online.
Sound good, right. But the access they have is now a balancing act with your privacy. If it is possible to monitor for specific content, what is stopping other industries to use it for profit or to promote an agenda?
The biggest difference with Apple
While Google Photos access and scans your cloud data, Apple takes on a different approach. This is not surprising because the company has been taking privacy ad security more seriously. This is probably one of the reasons why they were also in the news regarding Facebook’s complaint. Apple was giving iPhone users the option not to be tracked by apps on their phones, and this did not sit well with Facebook.
One of the biggest reasons is that the main business of Facebook, and even Google is data. And not just any data – your data!
It knows what you searched for, what you were looking for, even what you talked to your friends about while chatting away. Did you ever wonder how you are getting car ads after talking about cars with your friends?
This is not to say that Apple is not doing its part in CSAM. But they are taking a different approach. Rather than access and scan your iCloud photos, Apple has the technology to scan in-device. This means that they only look at what you have on your iPhone. And they do not even look at the whole thing.
How does it flag for CSAM?
Rather than monitor and access your iCloud photos, they only scan your photos and videos on your iPhone. If they are not able to flag potential CSAM matches, they ignore the rest of your data.
This is a tight-rope balancing act between keeping the children safe and providing you the privacy you deserve. Apple believes that you should not surrender and give up access to your entire content just so authorities can monitor an issue.
It is clear that Google’s approach with Google Photos is far more obtrusive when compared with Apple. The privacy measures in your iPhone try to balance everything out in terms of your privacy and helping address serious issues around you.
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