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What Backstory Does With Your Videos & Photos

We value the trust you put in Backstory to curate, share and rediscover your memories. We also understand your images (videos and photos) are deeply personal and private, so for full transparency, here is how we handle and secure your images.

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Apple's Notification for Backstory Photo Access

Backstory does not upload your photo library

When you grant Backstory "Access to your photo library" the app does not upload anything visual or that could be used to recreate an image. The app only uploads an image if you choose to save it to your private Backstory.


Here's exactly what happens: When you sign in to the Backstory iOS app for the first time, the app will ask permission to access your photo library. "Access your photo library" is Apple's default wording, not ours. Backstory simply creates a text list of Apple's identifiers for each image. Each identifier is only a unique string of digits and numbers. (Here’s an example of Apple's label:


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Skipping an Image On Backstory

When You Skip an Image

When you skip a photo or video while curating, we upload some information about that image so Backstory can log that it was skipped. If you were to delete the app and reinstall it, or install the app on a new phone, you’ll want Backstory to remember what images you already skipped. Note that we do not upload any data that could be used to recreate what the skipped image looks like. 

Here is the information we upload for each skipped image.


  1. The file size (example: 2.5 MB)

  2. The content type (examples: JPEG, PNG, HEIF, HEVC)

  3. Dimensions (example: 3024 pixels x 4032 pixels)

  4. The orientation (examples: landscape, portrait)

  5. The original file name (examples: IMG_3709.heic, or IMG_3709.jpg)

  6. The timestamp, or when the image was taken

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Choose a single month to curate

When You Save an Image

When you save a photo or video to your Backstory, we upload a copy of the actual photo or video. In addition to the same information uploaded for Skipped Images (see above), we also upload the following location information for Saved Images.

  1. GPS information for where the photo was taken (example: 45.28460° N, 111.41120° W)

  2. Apple’s Significant Location Data (example: Big Sky Resort, Montana)

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Backstories Memories Screen

Where Your Saved Images Are Uploaded

Backstory stores all uploaded images and data on servers hosted by Amazon’s Cloud Computing Services, a.k.a. Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is the world’s leading platform because of its security practices. “AWS is architected to be the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment available today.” Many of the world’s largest companies and government agencies trust AWS, as does Backstory. 

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Backstory's Security Settings Screen

Security Systems and Practices

No app or company can guarantee there will never be a security breach; however, the security of your images is a top priority for us. Accordingly, we have the following systems and practices in place:

  • Data encrypted at-rest and in-transit

    • Your data is sent using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, using Industry standard Transport Layer Security (TLS). 

  • Employee access to images is strictly limited to a small number of employees and audited

    • We only access images to investigate bugs or problems with the app.

  • Mandatory Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all registered creators

  • Regularly-updated infrastructure

  • Data synced to the cloud is under your control

  • Full redundancy for all major systems

    • Data is backed up daily and stored securely

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