Instagram Promises It Won't Sell Your Photos, Will Change Privacy Documents

Instagram got a lot of flack over some changes to the terms of use and privacy documents

By Lucian Parfeni on December 19th, 2012 08:55 GMT

Instagram got itself in plenty of trouble when it announced its intention of changing its terms of use and the privacy policy. The changes that got everyone upset was wording that seemed to suggest Instagram could sell your photos to advertisers.

That's not the case, says Instagram, and the company will rephrase the section that caused the most outrage to make it clear that Instagram has no intention of selling your photos.

"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," CEO and founder Kevin Systrom explained.

"The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question," he added.

He did go on to say that user data may be used in ads, similarly to the way Twitter runs promoted tweets and Facebook promoted stories.

On Instagram, companies may choose to promote their profiles and the service may choose to highlight which of your friends follow that profile for example.

It needs to be able to access and use your data to do this. Instagram says it prefers this type of advertising to generic banner ads plastered all over the place.

Systrom also assured users that their photos are theirs, there's no question of copyright and ownership. This was clear in the documents as well, but some people made the leap and worried about this too.

Finally, he also said that nothing is changing about the privacy settings, users have the same control over their photos as they did, which, granted isn't much. Photos can either be public, or private, i.e. accessible only by the people you approve, and this applies to all of your photos.

In the end, all of this was caused by vague wording in the proposed documents and by people not used to reading this type of documents in the first place. It's still Instagram's fault and maybe it will serve as a reminder that plainer language in the documents isn't a bad thing.
Instagram is fixing its proposed documents
   Instagram is fixing its proposed documents
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