Instagram shocked users with an update to its terms of service that will let the company sell users’ photos to other companies, reports CNN Money.
That means photos of your friends and family, that wacky weekend, even your honeymoon — could be used online, in magazine ads, even on billboards, without your permission.
Even minors are subject to the new terms: “If you are under the age of eighteen …. you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision.” Users can’t opt out of the new provisions. The only way to avoid them is to delete your Instagram account altogether.
The updated terms significantly broaden what Instagram can currently do with users’ content. The current terms simply note that “Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content.”
This move comes three months after Facebook purchased Instagram for $741 million dollars.
More than 5 billion photos have been shared by people using Instagram; Facebook has nearly 1 billion members. And nearly 300 million images are reportedly uploaded to Facebook every day.
For users, the codified information pipeline between the two platforms means that eventually, Facebook users could see advertisements based on their Instagram activity — something that could rub some the wrong way, said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy for the Center for Democracy & Technology. The change isn’t a big surprise, he added, since Facebook already showed last month that information sharing was on the horizon. But the worry, he indicated, would be if activity on one site is automatically shared on the other.
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