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March 5, 2011

Unedited Google Profile Pictures, Publicly Available

If you want to upload a profile photo to your Google Profile and use the cropping feature to edit the photo, it's important to know that the original version is publicly available. François Beaufort noticed that you can go to http://profiles.google.com/s2/photos/profile/me (replace me with the profile ID) and get the highest resolution of the profile picture as it was uploaded by the user.

When you upload a photo, Google says that "the full photo will be stored in your profile photos album, but we will display just the square crop on your profile page." By default, the profile photos album is not publicly accessible so it was reasonable to assume that the original photos can't be accessed by anyone but you. (Update: As Brian Rose points out, the profile photos album is unlisted if you haven't connected Picasa Web with Google Profiles and it's public otherwise.)


Until Google fixes this issue, it's probably a good idea to use a photo editor to crop and resize the image before uploading it to Google Profiles.

10 comments:

  1. I think I know that guy :)

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  2. who is that cutie patootie?

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  3. The profile album in not unlisted (visible to "anyone with the URL" in Picasa Web Albums terms, since PWA is the backend storage for the photos) by default. If the profile is public and searchable, so will be the profile album.

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  4. Shame on Google for that failure !!

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  5. Great spot. You would think that it would be in Google's benefit to discard the original photo, not store it. But the it seems that Google is loathe to get rid of any data if it can help it!

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  6. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone found something to moan about with Google profile.

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  7. Dropdigger said...
    Great spot. You would think that it would be in Google's benefit to discard the original photo, not store it. But the it seems that Google is loathe to get rid of any data if it can help it!

    Well to fair again we are constantly being told to backup data and multiple times.

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  8. I don't understand why Google stores the photo either, they should just have the feature to replace the photo. Thanks for the info on cropping.

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  9. Looks like its been fixed.

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