Google Photos Locked Folder backup in action

Google photos app

To prevent unintentionally disclosing private information online or in person, Google Images developed a feature called Locked Folder in the summer of 2021. This feature allows you to conceal specific images from your timeline. However, since photos transferred to the locked folder aren’t presently backed up, you run the risk of losing them permanently if you switch to a new phone without manually switching those photographs over. However, we were informed in February that Locked Folder would soon receive cloud backup capability; now, we have a sneak preview of backup in action.

AssembleDebug, a fan of Google applications, tweeted a screen capture of the backup procedure. The video demonstrates that the functionality will be opt-in, guaranteeing that no private photos of you will be uploaded to the cloud without your consent. Images in your protected folder are kept online, apart from the rest of your picture library, once you’ve chosen cloud backup. AssembleDebug further explains that photos backed up in Locked Folder are still accessible after uninstalling and reinstalling Google Photos, which is not the case with Locked Folder images stored locally. Locked Folder photos still won’t be visible in your normal Google Photos view or in other apps.

AssembleDebug later tweeted that he “managed to enable it,” but he didn’t explain how. The functionality still hasn’t been made available to users. However, the fact that it was doable and that the feature was apparently fully functioning once enabled appears to suggest that a public release is not too far away.

Locked Folder is undoubtedly made significantly more useful by cloud backup; manually transferring photographs saved there every time you switch devices goes against the set-it-and-forget-it simplicity that makes services like Google Photos so alluring. The protection of sensitive data stored online must never be compromised, yet in the eight years that Google Photos has been in operation, there have been no notable privacy scandals. It’s still a smart idea to lock down your Google account with two-factor authentication if you’re adding even more information you don’t want to leak.

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