Google’s security changes will break old Drive and YouTube links

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Soon, public links to an untold number of items stored on Google Drive and YouTube will stop working. In the name of enhanced security, Google is changing the way it handles link sharing on both services, and while active users may be able to opt out of the switch, files and videos abandoned on unused or inactive accounts may simply slip out of view forever.

That’s because shared links are now part of a newer system that Google says increases security. On YouTube, the newer links are apparently more difficult for anyone to guess or access without being explicitly given access. The newer links also have the affect of tying more activity to specific accounts and requiring viewers to log in, which allows access to be tracked and made a part...

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