18 Dec 2012

Instagram to Sell Users’ Photos and Data to Advertisers


Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing site, updated its privacy policy to include some new terms and conditions that allow the company to sell users’ photos and information to advertisers.

Users were given the heads up about the new terms and conditions on the company website under the privacy section but were not given an option to agree or disagree to this new practice. They have until January 16th to delete their Instagram accounts. After then, they won’t be able to opt out.

On the site, Instagram tells users: “We may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organizations that help us provide the Service to you […] and third-party advertising partners" that will “allow third-party ad networks to, among other things, deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you.”

The new privacy policy will therefore allow Instagram to share information about users with Facebook – the parent company, besides affiliates and advertisers.

These changes shouldn’t come as a surprise. Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, clearly stated after Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram early this year that “eventually we’ll figure out a way to monetize Instagram.”

This kind of update gives a whole new meaning to privacy and the way companies look at using or monetizing our private data.