Does Instagram’s New Privacy Policy & Terms of Service Cross The Line?

Posted by on December 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm
Just when I was going to be using it more...

Just when I was going to be using it more…

In January Instagram will be enforcing a new privacy policy and terms of service that some are calling Instagram’s “suicide note.” Why? Because the new terms states that “some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. 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.”

It goes on to state, “you acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.” Remember how Facebook owns Instagram? Well they sound kind of like sponsored stories but at least with those it just says that I like a page and then the ad. I haven’t told Instagram what I liked so how are they going to advertise this stuff?

Wil Wheaton chimed in on this with a different spin on it talking about automatic opt-in. “Here’s what I’m wondering: if Kaley Cuoco uses Instagram to share a photo of her and Melissa Rauch doing something silly, does that mean that Instagram can take that photo and use it to advertise for something silly without compensating them for what becomes a use of their likeness for commercial purposes? I can see that being a pretty serious shitstorm if it happens.”

That’s really a good question. What if I take a picture of a Starbucks coffee cup and Instagram it. Instagram then uses that picture to advertise something else using the Starbucks brand without their permission. What happens then?

Instagram posted a blog post letting everyone know that the “terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow.” They have also reassured everyone that you still own your photos and your privacy settings wont change. And if you want to get around this whole thing? You will have to delete your Instagram account.

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