Instagram abuses its users

A dramatic shift in Instagram’s privacy policy means the company can now sell your photographs and use your images in adverts – without payment or notification.

Instagram has claimed the right use any picture uploaded to the service to promote its corporate customers’ products without any compensation to the user who originally took it.

Instagram violates users with terms and conditions

Instagram violates users with terms and conditions

I want to delete my Instagram account

I want to delete my Instagram account

Goodbye Instagram, you won't be missed!

Goodbye Instagram, you won’t be missed!

There are many brands that use Instagram right now to try to get a feel for how to engage with their followers. We will definitely be figuring out a monetisation strategy. When that will happen, I can’t comment, but it’s going to happen. — Carolyn Everson, Facebook vice president of global marketing

For Facebook, this is a case study in how to waste a billion dollars. The company bought a popular service, set about stripping it of what made it successful, and paved the way for the inevitable replacement. — Forbes

Having declared war on twitter, Instagram is now violating its users.

I have never understood why anyone uses Instagram. It is a rubbish application that turns good pictures bad. If you wish to process images, then use a software package like Paintshop Pro or Photoshop.

Facebook paid a ludicrous price for Instagram, far, far more than it was worth, for a trivial application that a couple of half decent software engineers could knock out in a few days. Facebook paid a high price because it was not the application facebook was buying, it was the user database. That gives an inkling of what your personal data is worth to facebook, a company that does not recognise personal privacy.

Following a stock market flotation, with shares going into free fall, facebook has been under growing pressure to milk its assets. Its assets is you!

Milk is the operative word. Users are being herded like cattle.

Once Instagram was acquired by facebook, it was obvious abuse of personal data was going to take place. The only surprise, is that it has not happened sooner.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch:

People thought they were Instagram’s customers, but in reality users are Instagram’s product. It goes to show when respecting people’s data and privacy come into conflict with profit, there’s only ever going to be one winner. Users are now paying the price of Facebook’s acquisition of the company and unfortunately this kind of move will be seen time and time again as long as it is our personal data and advertising paying for services.

Last week, users found posting their Instagram pictures to twitter no longer worked. One good thing, I guess, fewer rubbish photos posted to twitter.

From 16 January 2013, new terms and conditions will be imposed on users. No choice, you are opted in by Instagram. The only way to opt out is to delete your Instagram account, but first delete all the information held, including all you pictures.

The new terms and condition are a serious breach of personal privacy, and quite possibly a breach of data protection across Europe. Users used Instagram to share with their friends, not to share with unknown third parties.

Basically in a nutshell, your pictures, personal information, can be shared with third parties, your pictures used in adversing campaigns.

Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers

All your personal information, including photos, is for sale.

You could star in an advertisement — without your knowledge

Your pictures, including of you or your friends, can be used in advertising campaigns. Let us say you hate McDonald’s, do not like Starbucks coffee or their tax dodging, how would you then feel to find they are using your photos to promote their products, how would your friends feel if pictures of them are used? And they can use your name. And you do not get paid, or even notified.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based advocacy group, said that the use of a person’s likeness in ads could run into some state laws protecting personal privacy.

Most states have laws that limit the use of a person’s ‘name or likeness’ for commercial purposes without consent. The legal purpose is to allow people to obtain the commercial value of their images and endorsements, which is a big issue for celebrities and others, but also a reasonable concern for Facebook users whose images are used by Facebook to encourage friends to buy products and services.

Underage users are not exempt

Would you be happy to find pictures of your kids are being used?

Ads may not be labeled as ads

It gets worse. We usually know ads are ads. But what if they are not obviously ads?

You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.

Want to opt out? Delete your account!

Do not like? Tough, you are automatically opted in. The only way to opt out is to delete your account. If you remain, you are deemed to have agreed to violation of your personal privacy.

This is like a rape victim being deemed to be a willing participant to rape because she did not scream out.

Instagram also reserves the right to share any cookie derived data with third parties.

The choice is yours. You do not have to be a willing victim to what amounts to rape of your personal data by Instagram. You can delete your account. And that is the recommended course of action.

Prior to deleting your account, you may wish to download all your pictures held on Instagram using Instaport (sign in with your Instagram account).

There are alternatives. You can upload direct to twitter, you can upload to twitpic (which will automatically post to twitter). Or try Snapseed.

If you know Instagram users (they are the ones who send out bad pictures), then please warn them and advise to delete their Instagram accounts. Even if they do not care about abuse by Instagram, make it clear you do (as they may be holding information, pictures, relating to you).

When you delete your Instagram account please advise all your followers on twitter with the hashtag #BoycottInstagram and tell them why.

Instagram may have been one of the fastest growing companies on the net. Let’s see how quickly we can kill it.

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2 Responses to “Instagram abuses its users”

  1. Misako Says:

    I never used Instagram and don’t think I ever will, but who on earth came up with such a thing?! Whoa, I’m stunned!

  2. keithpp Says:

    Bullshit from Instagram co-fonder Kevin Systrom, that Instagram never intended to violate its users, that it was all a big misunderstanding.

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