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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Google announced Wednesday it will stop offering unlimited free photo storage on June 1, 2021. However, photos uploaded before then won't count against the new 15 GB free limit.

Why it matters: Thanks to its free storage, as well as excellent search and ease of use, Google Photos has been the ideal backup option for many users — and drove many paid competitors out of the space.

Details: In a blog post, Google said the move was needed to ensure the product had a sustainable future.

  • "Since so many of you rely on Google Photos to store your memories, it's important that it's not just a great product, but also continues to meet your needs over the long haul," Google said.
  • Google has always limited how many full-resolution photos and videos free users could upload, but has driven out much of the competition by offering unlimited storage of photos that are somewhat compressed but still decently high-resolution.

What they're saying:

  • Platformer's Casey Newton: "Google earned $11.2 billion in profits last quarter and uses all your uploaded photos to train its ML algorithms, which offers it other enormous competitive benefits."
  • BuzzFeed's Mat Honan: "I completely understand the teeth-gnashing, but I'd much rather pay for it than have the company monetize it in other ways."

Go deeper

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.

2 hours ago - Technology

Twitter to label COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, implement strike policy

Photo: Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter announced Monday that it will label tweets with potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, and introduce a strike system that can lead to permanent account suspension.

The big picture: Tech companies are taking an increasingly aggressive stance against users who attempt to share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines on their platforms.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump, Melania received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  3. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  5. World: Italy tightens restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants — PA announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge.
  6. Local: Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy.