Posts Tagged ‘violation of privacy’

Instagram bullshit

December 19, 2012

I will be quitting Instagram today. What a bummer. You should all read their new rules. — Pink

Trust me, deleting your Instagram account is satisfying. — Mia Farrow

No more Instagram. — Kate Walsh

Either Kevin Systrom is stupid or he thinks Instagram users are stupid.

It could not have been more explicit, from 16 January 2013, new terms and conditions come into force, you have no choice, you are opted in like it or not, and once opted in Instagram deem that you have granted permission for your pictures to be sold to third parties whether you like it or not, you won’t get paid, you won’t even be notified.

We may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organisations that help us provide the service to you… (and) third-party advertising partners.

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

But according to Kevin Systrom co-founder of Instagram, it does not mean what was writ, that is just poor use of English language.

Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.

Now what when it is at home is ‘ experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram’, other than bullshit, within a denial that is in itself bullshit.

It was not ‘ interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation’, that is what Instagram explicitly stated would happen on 16 January 2013, and the only way to stop this happening was to delete your Instagram account, which many have quite wisely chosen to do.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, and paid a ludicrous price for a fairly worthless application, is a rapacious corporation that thinks nothing of violating the privacy of its users.

Also contrast Kevin Systrom had to say with what Carolyn Everson, Facebook vice president of global marketing, had to say:

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.

What therefore is going on?

Yesterday, according to Anonymous, 500,000 users deleted their Instagram accounts. Today Instagram violating their users and the reaction of users was the front page story on the Metro, so expect more users to delete their accounts. All of which will send facebook shares into free fall.

As already noted, facebook paid a ludicrous amount for a worthless application. The price was not paid in cash, it was cash and facebook shares. Now you will understand the statement of Kevin Systrom. It is not that he cares about users, but he does care about his wealth rapidly vanishing.

Announcing the apparent change of mind, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told users: “It is not our intention to sell your photos.” He didn’t say “It never was”. He didn’t even say “We never will.”

Systrom claimed the language the original terms and conditions used “raised questions”. His problem is that it didn’t. It told us what sort of a company Instagram is. No wonder users are still closing their accounts.

Would Systrom have even contradicted the Instagram violation of users if there had not been a mass deletion of Instagram accounts?

We all know the answer, which is why the advice is delete Instagram.

The advice is still, delete your Instagram account, post on twitter with the hashtag #BoycottInstagram that you have closed your account.

Is your e-book reader reading what you read?

July 30, 2012

As Winston Smith learnt to his cost, Big Brother was monitoring everything he did.

CCTV watches and tracks, face recognition picks you out. GPS pinpoints where you are. Mobile phone networks track where you are, who you are communicating with. Credit and debit cards track where you are, how much you are spending. Store cards track where you are, build a profile of what you buy, where and when.

Facebook apps monitor everything you are doing on facebook, and know who all your friends are.

How many people are aware that their e-book reader is not only monitoring what they read but even gathering fine data such as which passages in a book you may have highlighted, passages that you may pause and reflect upon?

It is one thing to tweet what you are reading, to write a review, even to contact the author with your thoughts on a book, but it is an entirely different matter invasive monitoring of what we read.

Philip Jones editor of The Bookseller (a vested interest if ever there was one), dismisses concerns. Clearly he has no understanding of data mining. Author Joan Brady on the other hand is very concerned at this invasion of privacy, what your e-book reader is reading about you and what the information gathered is being used for.

What are authors doing about this? Are they happy with the privacy of their readers being violated?

Maybe we should all go back to reading real books, books you hold in your hand, and when we buy books do so with cash from a secondhand bookshop.