QUESTION ASKED BY OUR COLLEAGUE: I was asked by a person I shot with if my password protected directory was secure enough that it would keep google from getting her images and listing them on there image search listing. How can I be sure it will block google and everything else? Is there a way to test it ?
Several learned colleagues provided technically-correct info. A bigger problem, though, is that some visitors may thoughtlessly or maliciously take your photos, and send them to "public" places, such as newsgroups, or P2P file-copying networks, or websites stocked with viewer-contributed photos. This means that Google and others will have free access to your photos.
At those places, your photos will eventually be discovered by Google's search-and-retrieve bots. Google ignores embedded watermarks and visible copyright notices. Google will then create and start serving thumbnails, and cause the full-size images to be sent to anyone who wants them. Even if you give Google a takedown order, using their onerous and privacy-violating procedure, the damage has already been done. And Google will NOT leave a standing "order" in its software to stop using that photo, when it encounters the same photo at the same site(s) or in other locales.
Google's and similar business models are a continuing issue in copyright, and according to victims, a continuing issue with Google and other business models which use photos without getting permission. While the issues may eventually be resolved, at this time, anyone putting any image on the web should assume that Google and many similar and other infringement-based business models, WILL, directly or indirectly violate copyright and enable massive infringement by users of Google and other companies and websites.
And how does it feel, that you spend time, energy, money, developing your skills and making nice photos ... and then they're borrowed, for profit, by infringers?
There's an old saying infringers use to justify their acts: "Information wants to be free." An infringer at a trade show joked with me, "Photos want to be infringed."