Instagram revealed updates to its terms of service today, alerting users that they will be sharing data collected through the app with Facebook, the company that purchased it for a $1 billion earlier this year.
More shocking to many is language that suggests Instagram will sell user photos to third parties without pay for the person who snapped the picture.
The line that has got everyone frothing at the mouth is this:
You agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you.
According to The Verge, this and other language in the terms of service are very similar to those in place for other online services. Moreover, the new terms actually make things clearer and “more limited.”
“Instagram can’t sell your photos to anyone, for example. It simply doesn’t have permission,” the article says. But “an advertiser can pay Instagram to display your photos in a way that doesn’t create anything new — so Budweiser can put up a box in the timeline that says ‘our favorite Instagram photos of this bar!’ and put user photos in there, but it can’t take those photos and modify them, or combine them with other content to create a new thing.”
In other words, you can appear in an ad without first being asked for permission, though your photo can’t be altered with a logo or anything else. The New York Times has a few other details, including the fact that there’s no way to opt out short of deleting your account.
Instagram has heard the shrieks of anger and, reports CNN, has tweeted a promise to provide more information soon.
The new terms go into effect on January 16 and apply to about 100 million users. We’ve written just this week about the concerns over privacy and control of personal data. Do these new terms of service concern you?