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Instagram Changes ToS, May Sell Your Pictures and Info

By - Source: NYT | B 22 comments

Instagram has caused quite a stir with a quiet change to its terms of service, which now allow the company to share your content as well as user information with "affiliates" and "advertisers".

Sharing that information means, of course, that your content and information could end up in ads. And before you ask, no, you will not get compensated for your artwork.

The Twittersphere reflected the global outrage over this ToS change, which will go in effect on January 16 and analysts are already discussing the possible end of Instagram. In fact, Instagram may have shot itself in the foot with a monetization model that is well beyond the comfort level even of those you are willing to share their private life with the world.

The most aggressive rules state that underage users are not exempt from the ToS change and Instagram admits that ads may not necessarily marked as ads, which opens the door to abuse of content. The only way to protect yourself from Instagram's monetization bonanza is to delete your account.

Of course, if you have thought about your participation in Instagram before, you could have guessed that Burbn, the publisher of the software, was not in the welfare business and even if the new owner Facebook offers free access to its social network, the company has to generate money to pay employees and the free ride we have come to expect has to end at some point. The Instagram case is just one example, even if it is a pretty aggressive one.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    spartanmk2 , December 18, 2012 9:02 PM
    Good thing I dont post pictures online...anywhere.
  • 13 Hide
    joytech22 , December 18, 2012 9:24 PM
    It's Facebook, what part of you DON'T they sell?
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    spartanmk2 , December 18, 2012 9:02 PM
    Good thing I dont post pictures online...anywhere.
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 18, 2012 9:22 PM
    Taking user content and selling it like that is bull$#!%.

    that last paragraph is a product of cowardice.
  • 13 Hide
    joytech22 , December 18, 2012 9:24 PM
    It's Facebook, what part of you DON'T they sell?
  • 4 Hide
    deftonian , December 18, 2012 9:34 PM
    I'd rather them sell the app for $0.99, it's more reasonable. Seems they're taking the greed route and trying to garnish as much money as possible no matter what the cost... and the cost here is it's users.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 18, 2012 9:45 PM
    A good reason to switch to Aroundly :) 
  • -4 Hide
    razor512 , December 18, 2012 9:48 PM
    Who would ever want to buy instagram photos?
    There are many professional photographers that have a hard enough time selling their work, and their pictures are extremely good.

    Instagram Photos are often low quality and generic and uncreative due to the same boring filters being applied to every photo, there is just nothing truly unique. I can't see them making any money from selling the photos.
  • -4 Hide
    internetlad , December 18, 2012 9:58 PM
    seems more like they're trying to cover their own ass. There's a lot of legal loopholes worked in, somebody notices one and gets all worked up. Doesn't mean they'll ever use it.

    Then again, doesn't mean they won't use it.
  • 6 Hide
    Cons29 , December 18, 2012 10:15 PM
    sacreI don't get it anymore. Nothing about you is secure unless you just prevent using the internet at all. I'm not saying this is a bad thing really - if you don't do anything illegal than what do you have to worry about?So what, they have a picture of me smiling beside my ex, so what, they have my address info and my phone number - OMG they are going to go to my place and.......................... a..and................. oh thats right, i'm not doing anything illegal and there is no reason to even look in my direction.If you're doing illegal stuff, yea, worry, be paranoid.If not, who cares.



    who cares? really? wow no concern over privacy policy huh? if it's your ex sure she knows where you live, but what about strangers? what about other companies using your stuff to make profit without any compensation? so i imagine everything in your facebook is public since you're not doing anything illegal, right? then why use a password then?
  • 4 Hide
    Blessedman , December 18, 2012 10:27 PM
    I am okay with as long as it's profit sharing. You sell a picture I took and posted on instagram, I want 50% of the money made on it. You are only a broker for my work and 50% is extremely high but all I have to do is point and click so we are good!
  • 1 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 18, 2012 10:38 PM
    sacreI don't get it anymore. Nothing about you is secure unless you just prevent using the internet at all. I'm not saying this is a bad thing really - if you don't do anything illegal than what do you have to worry about?So what, they have a picture of me smiling beside my ex, so what, they have my address info and my phone number - OMG they are going to go to my place and.......................... a..and................. oh thats right, i'm not doing anything illegal and there is no reason to even look in my direction.If you're doing illegal stuff, yea, worry, be paranoid.If not, who cares.

    Imagine the Orwellian surveillance state that exists today in the USA.
    Imagine a person born today. For this person the government will have:

    *Every email ever sent
    *Ever website ever visited
    *Every forum post visited
    *Every forum post ever posted under ALL aliases
    *Every item ever purchased on the internet
    *Every item ever added to a shopping cart on the net but never purchased
    *Every phone conversation ever had IN FULL SEARCHABLE TEXT
    *Every text message
    *GPS Coordinates and time of every location ever Visited (parents phones when young, person's phone when old enough,
    *Every TV channel ever watched (Coming Soon™)
    *...EVERYTHING DIGITAL
    This is the surveillance state that exists RIGHT NOW... whether we like it or not.

    but you say... who cares... I'm not doing anything illegal.

    Scenario 1:
    * Hitler #2 comes to power in the US
    **QED

    Scenario 2:
    * You become inconvenient with your rabble rousing on the internet against some government or corporate abuse of some kind... and your disobedience is generating a significant-enough following to be a significant nusiance to those in power or those influencing those in power.
    ** Knock on the door... hello there John Doe, you might want to reconsider your rabble rousing considering that we know literally everything you've ever done in your life. That affair last year... should we tell your wife? ...etc, etc, etc...

    What would America look like today had England had such power 200+ years ago?
    Martin Luther King?
    etc.
    *** QED
  • 0 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 18, 2012 10:42 PM
    Razor512Who would ever want to buy instagram photos?There are many professional photographers that have a hard enough time selling their work, and their pictures are extremely good.Instagram Photos are often low quality and generic and uncreative due to the same boring filters being applied to every photo, there is just nothing truly unique. I can't see them making any money from selling the photos.

    extremely rare photographic gems produced by the everyday person are... NOT RARE AT ALL when you multiply it by 100,000,000 users.

    get it?
  • -3 Hide
    otacon72 , December 18, 2012 10:45 PM
    Instagram has already stated they aren't going to do it now.
  • -4 Hide
    getochkn , December 18, 2012 11:16 PM
    thecolorblueImagine the Orwellian surveillance state that exists today in the USA.Imagine a person born today. For this person the government will have:*Every email ever sent*Ever website ever visited*Every forum post visited*Every forum post ever posted under ALL aliases*Every item ever purchased on the internet*Every item ever added to a shopping cart on the net but never purchased*Every phone conversation ever had IN FULL SEARCHABLE TEXT*Every text message*GPS Coordinates and time of every location ever Visited (parents phones when young, person's phone when old enough, *Every TV channel ever watched (Coming Soon™)*...EVERYTHING DIGITALThis is the surveillance state that exists RIGHT NOW... whether we like it or not.but you say... who cares... I'm not doing anything illegal.Scenario 1:* Hitler #2 comes to power in the US **QEDScenario 2:* You become inconvenient with your rabble rousing on the internet against some government or corporate abuse of some kind... and your disobedience is generating a significant-enough following to be a significant nusiance to those in power or those influencing those in power. ** Knock on the door... hello there John Doe, you might want to reconsider your rabble rousing considering that we know literally everything you've ever done in your life. That affair last year... should we tell your wife? ...etc, etc, etc...What would America look like today had England had such power 200+ years ago?Martin Luther King?etc.*** QED



    Here comes the nutjob! I find it so IRONIC that all you nutjobs sit on the internet saying how the government is evil and run by Jews and reptiles and reptilian Jews and how the government is going to round us all up into FEMA camps and anyone who says anything about will disappear, yet the very fact that you are still here ranting about how evil the government is shows that you're wrong. Alex Jones is the king of this and your reply seems like you repeated it from him, which is mostly what all you nutjobs do. Repeat something from the web or Youtube and act like your smart and you know the truth. All you know how to do is repeat. The fact that Alex Jones is still on the internet and the radio ranting all day, foaming at the mouth, how the government is evil and taking away all our right, the whole time, he hasn't been scooped up by black helicopters, shows he's full of it. If he was exposing top secrets of the government, he would disappear, but since the government doesn't feel the need to ever bother him, doesn't that show you he is full of crap?

    Of course not, you will probably call me a government paid agent/troll, hired by the NSA to go around the internet and discredit anyone who speaks the "truth".



    As to the original topic of this post, this wasn't even Intstagrams intentions, and they even issued an updated TOS to make it more clear that they are not going to sell your photos for ad's or track your from space with the GPS in your phone. Yet another example of someone not understanding something, ranting on the internet and it goes viral, and turns out to be wrong.
  • -2 Hide
    anhxeom , December 19, 2012 12:01 AM
    Toms is late with the news...Instagram posted on their blog that they are not going to sell anything, and their message was misinterpreted.

    http://blog.instagram.com/post/38252135408/thank-you-and-were-listening

    "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."
  • -4 Hide
    sacre , December 19, 2012 12:15 AM
    Jee, posting "Whats there be be afraid about?" on a website like this would obviously get downvoted because 9/10's of you folks pirate, the other 1/10 of ya are just shutins that are avoiding all social websites thinking you're above the general population because the big bad government is going to steal your info and track your pirating ass down.

    Give it a rest, all it is from you panic ridden nuts is "MY PRIVACY! PIRATING DOESNT HURT DA INDUSTRY, ETC"

    Again, the "big bad government" has 330 million people to deal with in your country, 80% of which are worse than you. Having your info able to be seen by government officials means nothing.

    On top of that, you really think avoiding facebook is going to make it harder for the "government" to obtain your info?

    lol, grow up kids.
  • 1 Hide
    infernocy , December 19, 2012 12:56 AM
    Cons29who cares? really? wow no concern over privacy policy huh? if it's your ex sure she knows where you live, but what about strangers? what about other companies using your stuff to make profit without any compensation? so i imagine everything in your facebook is public since you're not doing anything illegal, right? then why use a password then?


    already done by facebook from 2007 until now ....
  • 1 Hide
    chewy1963 , December 19, 2012 1:41 AM
    Instagram has decided to delete that part of their TOS:

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/instagram-addresses-tos-rage/

    Not that I'd use the service anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    kingius , December 19, 2012 7:58 AM
    This is a hugely worrying development. The people here who think, everything is fine now, it will always be fine, are naive at best. Perhaps sheep is a good description. A sheep has no idea it has been bred only to be eaten and would not be able to deal with the knowledge even if it came face to face with it. The future holds much evil for us; anyone without scruples will be able to abuse these systems in ways that are truly shocking because these systems are so efficient at collecting - and searching - data. Imagine, for instance, if someone got into power and used Facebook and Instagram to identify a type of person they did not like in order to round them up overnight and commit genocide. It's so easy with these technologies. And don't think this is impossible. Just look at history. And you don't even have to go far back. Rwanda, for instance.Political suppression is also not a thing of the past. In Rwanda today the entire opposition party is in PRISON. ITS GOING ON RIGHT NOW. The west is paying these countries to do it via foreign aid!!! Wake up and get the facts. Abroad today... at home tomorrow. Wait and see how power corrupts.
  • 0 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 19, 2012 8:22 AM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCWeVYCcKXw

    TED Talk - Very informative
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