Η Google applies some security updates that will affect some old YouTube and Google Drive links. In particular, a large number of public links to Google Drive and YouTube will stop working soon. In an effort to improve security, Google is changing the way it handles it sharing links on both services. Although active users may choose to opt out of the upcoming change, files that remain inactive or unused Google accounts, may disappear.
Wondering why this will happen? Because shared links will soon be part of Google's newer security-focused system. From the 23rd of July, The Unlisted (unlisted) YouTube videos posted before 2017 will change to "Private". Unlisted is a setting for video that allows users to upload a video that can be viewed and shared by anyone who has the link to that video but does not appear in search results or other tabs.
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The tech giant has released one security update to the system in 2017 that creates new YouTube Unlisted links with some security enhancements, making videos even harder to detect. Now, it does security updates in older Unlisted videos uploaded prior to this update. Instead of being open to everyone, share your private YouTube videos are now limited to a maximum of 50 people, while at the same time required Google account tracking. See also: YouTube's big win in the EU over copyright
Google Drive links will also be part of this change, as officially announced Google Workspace blog. Shared links will now have a resource key that will determine which accounts will have access to the content. Those who already have access to old files will still have them, but anyone else will need to log in to request access so they can see them.
Users who have files that will be affected by the change, ireceive an email by July 26th, which will tell them exactly which links will be affected. If users do not want to receive the security update, they can opt out of it as long as they do so. before 13 September 2021. Otherwise, all security updates will be applied automatically.
If you use a Google Workspace account managed by your employer, your school or some other organization, then things get a little more complicated. The administrator or IT department may choose to opt out altogether, apply the update to everyone without exception, or apply the update and allow individual users to remove it from specific files.