Do you know where your photos are?

Do you know where your photos are?

These days it feels like everyone wants to store my photos. In fact, I’ve lost track of all the companies that have a copy of my photos on their servers.

Being a tech journo type, I have both an iPhone and an Android device (a Nexus 5). Here are the apps that automatically backup my iPhone photos, or have copies of some (or all) of my photos:

iPhone photo apps

And these are the apps that automatically backup my Nexus 5 photos, or have copies of some (or all) of my photos:

Android photo apps

Meanwhile, when I switch on my MacBook Pro, this is what I see:

MacBook Pro desktop

Yes – that’s Timehop and Memoir wanting me to log in to start backing up photos from my computer, too. The other window is calendar app Fantastical, which keeps saying my iCloud details are incorrect for some reason that I can’t be bothered to resolve, but it’s a reminder that Apple’s iCloud is backing up my photos too. Oh, and Dropbox is working away in the background to keep copies of them as well.

That’s not all. Heyday, a journaling app for iOS, keeps bugging me to allow it to start backing up my photos.

2014-06-26 17.26.40

I honestly couldn’t tell you all the places my photos are stored online, but there are probably more than you can see above. There’s a reason I haven’t just logged back into those apps like Timehop and Memoir that are nagging me to let them join the ‘store Martin’s photos’ party – I’ve got cloud fatigue.

There comes a point where cloud storage stops being a useful convenience and starts being an annoyance. I don’t really need my photos in all these different places. Then what happens if any of these companies and services get acquired and end up part of some nefarious parent company that decides to use the images in ways of which I don’t approve? It seems farfetched but it’s certainly a risk.

What happens if one of these companies gets hacked and someone steals my photos? As I’ve said before, startups’ cloud security is given nowhere near as much scrutiny as it should.

The photo storage onslaught isn’t slowing down. Today alone we’ve covered two new services (Trunx and Shutter) and we got pitched a third.

Of course, it’s my fault that I have my photos in so many places, readily signing up to anything new that looks vaguely exciting. Still, it’s something to keep in mind – how many companies have your photos, videos and documents? It may be more than you think.

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Thumbnail image credit: Shutterstock

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