Google+ vs. Facebook Photo Sharing Privacy

by Barbara Maloney on July 22, 2011

in Social Media

Post image for Google+ vs. Facebook Photo Sharing Privacy

Google has recently launched Google+. Google+ is their attempt at a social network. One of the things that was introduced within Google+ is photo sharing. Google+ has made viewing and sharing photos even easier.

However, before sharing any photos on Google+ you need to know what rights you are giving up when you use Google+ or any other Google service. Below is a excerpt Google’s Terms of Service.

“By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

“You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.”

“You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.”

Although Facebook has very similar wording of their intellectual property rights, they make it clear that it is on your privacy and application settings. This means that if you choose to share an album with “everyone”, you are giving up the content and you are allowing everyone, including people off Facebook, to access and use that information.  If you have a specific album you don’t want in just anybody’s hands, you must clarify that in your settings. You can choose how people see your Google+ albums, but Google never states in their terms of service that they too will obey this. However, Facebook specifically points out it is also subject to your privacy settings for photos.

Basically what this all means is, don’t share anything on Google+ or any other Google service unless you are okay with Google doing whatever they want with it. Also know that just because Facebook says they will maintain your privacy settings doesn’t mean that all the people you’re sharing with on Facebook will.
What’s your take on these privacy terms?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Harrell August 9, 2011 at 9:37 am

Photo sharing is a subject that we’ve been discussing over on our blog too ( Many of our customers are using Facebook and other social networking sites to share photos. Privacy concerns abound when you start posting pictures of people in your organization and when schools post pictures of kids, it’s even more questionable. Thank you for bringing this privacy concern into the light!


Imene September 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Did they change this since?


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