how to modify thousands of pictures within hundreds of folders

Is there a way to modify (blur, pixelate, obscure, or simply damage) multiple pictures for them to be unusable?

I am in the process of moving away from google. There are approximately ten thousand pictures distributed in something like six hundred folders, which I am slowly uploading to Proton Drive.

I would prefer not to simply delete the files from google drive (because we know they will not be deleted), but to leave altered documents. Something like pictures full of blank spots, or thick diagonal lines, or blurred, you get the point.

Can anyone recommend a way to do this?

Sounds like a job for G’MIC or ImageMagick. I’ll share a fun G’MIC script that does that job.

G’MIC script

$ ig folder_of_images blur 50 pixelize 5 gcd_shuffle hsv82rgb exec \"?\" o images.png

Where ? inside is a command line code to remove pictures. I’m not sure how to overwrite them here. Maybe @David_Tschumperle can help.

There, you have completely destroyed pictures. The above approach is completely unrecoverable by reducing information of pictures, and shuffling pictures, and adding color conversion makes it hard to discern any information.

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that lives on the assumption that google wouldnt just store the old and the new files :wink:


And dont forget the NSA backups. :slight_smile:

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Yup. Also IIRC keeping this data around when deleted would be a flagrant violation of European law, AND more importantly retaining your data when you don’t want it to be retained costs Google money. I am sure the problem the OP is trying to solve doesn’t exist.

Hell I’m in the exact opposite boat - Vacation photo backup is pushing me to my free tier Google storage limit and I need to start more aggressively managing what is and is not stored by Google. You can be assured that if I delete it, Google isn’t going to be keeping it around given how hard Google is trying to monetize that storage I’m using.

I’m afraid any data which they have extracted from your emails, photos, online activity and built into your profile will remain there. So, if you often took photos of a German Shepherd, there will be some score ‘interest in German Shepherds’ with a positive value in your profile data, even if you delete those photos; or if you searched for running shoes, or visited a diabetes support site, even if you delete your search and web browsing history, the scores will remain (they are not related to a single activity anyway).
Maybe they can include that in your data dump, if you download all your profile data, but I don’t expect that to be human-readable (for example, there may be interest category codes, but you would not see ‘German Shepherd’ anywhere, just cryptic numbers).
As for the photos themselves, Google will be happy to remove them to save on the amount of data they store but are not actually interested in (the pixels of the images).