Privacy groups angry over new Instagram policy on photographs
Photo-sharing service Instagram has come under fire from users and privacy groups after changes to its usage policy left them fearful that photographs could be used commercially.
“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you,” the new terms say.
Instagram may also use sponsored content or advertising on the service without identifying it as such.
The new policies will come in on January 16th, Instagram said.
The move has caused a storm of protest from users, with many threatening to delete their photographs and deactivate accounts before the new policies come in.
In a post on its blog Instagram claimed that nothing had changed about users’ photographs or who could see them, and that the changes were just about bringing the policies up to date for the 100 million users on the site.
Sharing of data
Facebook announced in April it would buy the social photo service in a deal worth $1 billion. The company is currently integrating Instagram into Facebook, and the new policies are intended to make the sharing of data between the two services easier.
“This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used,” Instagram said on its blog.
“Our updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow.”
More than one billion photographs have been uploaded to Instagram since it began operating in December 2010.
Jeffrey Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, said Facebook “sees teens as a digital goldmine”.
“We will be pressing the Federal Trade Commission to issue policies to protect teen privacy,” he said. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg