Instagram changes TOS, can license images for ads

Written by Russell Co. Posted in Internet, Networking, News, Software and Apps

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Published on December 18, 2012 with No Comments

Instagram has announced a new Terms of Service (TOS) agreement and Privacy Policy for its users that will be effective on January 16, 2013. One change in the TOS has been inevitable ever since Facebook acquired Instagram. The two companies will begin to share user data with each other to better their services. Data sharing is highlighted as an integral part of the change in Instagram’s blog:

Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.

Another key change to be introduced are advertisements, as Facebook seeks to monetize the service. The new TOS states that “Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue.” They can share cookie data with third-party advertisers to deliver targeted advertisments.

The problem with this is that a new clause has emerged that could threaten photographers who use Instagram as a way to share their work. Now the service has the ability to use your content to as advertising material. This means that your filtered photograph of your dinner could be used by an advertiser to sell their product. They could also use any data such as your username, likeness, photos and associated metadata on advertisements without any compensation to you.