Earlier this year, Google introduced a new feature for Android devices that allows users to hide sensitive pics in a special Locked Folder in Google Photos, Now, according to a new update, Locked Folders will be added to Googe Photos on iOS sometime next year.
The latest info regarding Google Photo’s Locked Folder was announced in a recent Google blog about security, which details a number of recent and upcoming privacy and security changes including the new Security Hub on Pixel devices, new support for end-to-end encrypted calls on Google Fi, the expansion of VPN by Google One to a wider range of countries, and more.
Google says a number of its recent changes have been spurred on by increased demand for user privacy and security, a trend we’ve also seen recently via a host of new features in Android 12 like the new pop-up notifications that tell you when an app is accessing your device’s mics or cameras.
In the blog, Google mentions how it has also recently introduced new privacy tech called Private Set Membership, which makes it easier for apps and services to verify security details without needing to send data off the device or reveal sensitive information.
As for Locked Folders in Google Photos, Google says the feature is intended to allow people to hide pictures or videos in a more secure location augmented by an additional layer of security (biometric, password, PIN, etc.). So now, when you’re looking through your photo feed in Google Photos on any device, you won’t accidentally scroll past sensitive pics or videos. You just have to remember to manually move sensitive content to the Locked Folder beforehand.
The first thing that might come to mind when thinking about what kind of content might be worth hiding in a Locked Folder are nudes that may have found their way onto your device, but there are plenty of other legitimate use cases too. For example, having a photo of your driver’s license or vaccination card on your phone can be extremely useful to have on hand, but those documents might contain info you don’t want to reveal when showing people pics from your BBQ last weekend (or whatever).
Unfortunately, Google has not provided an exact date for when Locked Folders will be available in Google Photos on iOS, but in the meantime, if you want a preview of how it works, you can check out our handy guide here.