Google's warning: Print out digital photos

An internet pioneer and vice president of Google says it's time to print out your photos and important documents - or risk losing them with time.

Vint Cerf has been recorded saying people must start preserving the vast quantities of digital data which are produced before they are lost forever.

It's estimated New Zealanders take around 1.2 billion snaps on their smartphones every year, and as many as 20 million of them may be lost.

Mr Cerf has recommended people around the world print out important documents such as treasured family pictures to avoid losing them in years to come through outdated operating systems.

"This is starting to happen to people who are saving a lot of their digital photographs because they are just files of bits. The file system doesn't know how to interpret them, you need software to do that. Now you've lost the photograph in effect," he said.

"If there are pictures that you really really care about then creating a physical instance is probably a good idea. Print them out, literally."

Fujifilm NZ says on average, New Zealanders each store around 1,200 photos on their phones.

"International trends indicate that smartphones will soon become our primary image storing device, ahead of computers, tablets and digital cameras, yet fewer than 10% of those photos are ever printed," Peter Bonisch, sales and marketing manager for Fujifilm NZ said.

"We scroll through and reminisce, and share a few photos on social media, but most of them stay on our phone. So if that disappears, so do our photos. People are losing precious reminders of significant events, their friends and their family history."

The vice-president of Google says having a hard drive to back-up digital photo files might not be enough. Source: 1 NEWS