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Proton Drive’s new photo backup feature for Android protects snapshots of your life

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Most of us probably wouldn’t consent to sharing photos of our family and friends with random strangers on the internet. But that’s exactly what we do when we automatically back up our pictures to the non-private servers of Big Tech companies, which can scan them and analyze them for profit.

Now, you’ll never have to give up your privacy to keep your pictures safe. We’re starting the gradual rollout of our new photo backup feature on the Proton Drive Android app today, and it will be available to everyone in a matter of days. This will let you instantly and seamlessly back up photos from your Android device to your encrypted cloud storage account. Your photos and important metadata are end-to-end encrypted by default. 

Best of all, it’s easy to start. All you have to do to set it up is download the Proton Drive mobile app for Android and enable automatic camera uploads.

Introducing Proton Drive photo backups

At Proton, our mission is to protect your data with strong encryption so that nobody — not even us — can access your private information. We already protect the emails, calendar events, files, browsing activity(new window), and passwords of over 100 million people around the world.

Photos are in many ways even more sensitive than other kinds of information. They hold emotional value, but they also quietly contain troves of vital data, from your biometrics to your precise location. You may also take pictures of sensitive documents, like your passport, Social Security card, driving license, or tax returns. 

If you don’t already back up your pictures to the cloud, storing them on your phone puts them at risk of being lost forever due to device damage, theft, or accidental deletion.

Most people intuitively understand the importance of protecting photos. Over 70% of files uploaded to the cloud are photos. And automatic photo backup has been our most requested feature since launching Drive.

Peace of mind with encrypted photo backups 

With automatic photo backup, Proton Drive fully encrypts your files’ contents and important metadata (such as location and file names) before syncing them to your Proton Drive account. From there, you can access them across iOS, Android, and web.

After activating photo backup and granting access to your photos, you’ll start to see them appear within Proton Drive. A progress bar will keep you informed about the number of items still awaiting backup. If you subscribe to app notifications, you will receive automatic updates in the event of any backup issues. 

Once your photos are fully backed up in your Drive account, your memories are now safely stored and accessible whenever you need them. Deleting them on your device will not automatically delete them from the cloud. You can also turn off other photo gallery syncing to protect your privacy and save space in your Google Account.

Easy photo browsing and preview

Proton Drive makes it easy to view and browse through your image and video files once they have been successfully backed up. Your files are neatly organized within the new ‘Photos’ tab, presented in a user-friendly grid view, and categorized by the date they were taken, with months clearly delineated. From here, you can effortlessly select, download, or delete your photos and videos.

In your mobile app, you can preview a variety of file types, including panoramas, portraits, and timelapse videos.

Secure offline access

Proton Drive already lets you mark files as Available offline, ensuring access even if you’re off the grid or your internet connection is unstable. With the launch of photo backup, we’ve extended this feature to include the photos and videos you back up to Proton Drive. 

A private cloud storage alternative

This is just the beginning. Photo backup is already in beta on the Proton Drive iOS app and will be released publicly soon. Next on our roadmap is the development of support for albums and automatic categorization based on photo types, such as screenshots. We are also working on integrating on-device machine learning to ensure that you can enjoy all the smart features you’ve come to rely on while maintaining end-to-end encryption.

We believe the future of the internet is private. That’s why we’re building an alternative to other cloud storage services that claim to protect your privacy — but keep a key for themselves. With Proton Drive, only you have the key to unlock your data. 

Learn more about Proton Drive security

We couldn’t have built Proton Drive without the support of our community. And we mean that literally. While other companies make money by collecting your data and showing you ads, Proton makes money helping people protect their privacy. You can support us by upgrading to a paid subscription with extra features. 

You can store up to 1 GB of data in Proton Drive for free. Get started with Proton Drive here.

If you have feedback for our team, we welcome your input. You can join the conversation on the Proton Drive subreddit(new window) or on Twitter(new window). Thank you for helping us build an internet where privacy is the default.

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Andy Yen(new window)

Andy is the founder and CEO of Proton. He is a long-time advocate for privacy rights and has spoken at TED, Web Summit, and the United Nations about online privacy issues. Previously, Andy was a research scientist at CERN and has a PhD in particle physics from Harvard University.

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