A Google security update is about to impact Google Drive and YouTube public links, including Unlisted ones.
Google Drive and YouTube both use links to share files and videos. In the case of YouTube, Unlisted videos are publicly available, but not indexed by the platform’s search. As a result, a link is needed to access the video.
Google has been working to improve the security of its sharing links, and the improved security will lead to some of those old links breaking. The company highlighted the changes to Google Drive on its Google Workspace blog.
This security update is being applied to some files in Google Drive to make sharing links more secure. The update will add a resource key to sharing links. Once the update has been applied to a file, users who haven’t viewed the file before will have to use a URL containing the resource key to gain access, and those who have viewed the file before or have direct access will not need the resource key to access the file.
Admins can use Google’s Help Center to learn more about the update, its impacts and how to manage it across an organization.
Similarly, YouTube outlined how Unlisted video links will be impacted.
As part of these changes, Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 will be made Private starting on July 23, 2021. We are also giving creators the option to opt out of this security update and keep their videos in their current state if they prefer. If you have a video that is impacted by this change, we’ll notify you directly.
Users will have the option of opting out, using this form, by July 23, 2021. Alternatively, users can re-upload their video as Unlisted, switch them to Public or simply let them go Private when the change takes place.