Tag Archives: privacy

What Did the Instagram Debacle Teach Us…If Anything?



If you’re like over half of the social media population, you probably just zoned out when you heard about the debacle over Instagram these last few weeks. If you are among that group, we now bring you the Cliffs Notes version of the drama.

People got up in arms due to an amendment set forth in Instagrams’ updated terms. The amendment in question states that it now has a:

non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service’s Privacy Policy

A reality of social networking, particularly with Facebook and Instagram, is that many users are basically expecting to a third party to have access to a great deal of their information. Of course, there is a certain level of consent that those users have to allow.  Recent events have proven that users do have a voice.

For instance, when it was basically implied that Instagram would also have the right to essentially sell your photos to advertisers without their consent, the resulting backlash had them backtracking and reneging. As a matter of fact, despite the fact that Instagram pulled away from such terms, the damage had already been done. Studies within the days that followed showed that a large number of Instagram users started looking into other photo-sharing apps. Chief among these was Pheed; this is an app that allows users to monetize their pictures.

Essentially, Pheed was doing what Instagram was threatening to do…only Instagram hadn’t planned on paying anyone.

The fact that Instagram is now owned by Facebook—a company that has had its own share of privacy issues—has many people looking very closely at the terms and conditions of their other social networking go-tos. It’s never been a huge secret that advertisers have access to some of our information, namely our interactions and interests.

But at what point does an invasion of privacy and rights become a real issue? What is the breaking point, if there is one at all?