Some Instagram users upset.
Facebook to sell your photos: Social media giant claims it owns the rights to ALL your Instagram pictures
A popular photo-sharing website owned by Facebook has told users it now owns the rights to their pictures.
Instagram will not give any warning or payment before cashing in on the images posted on its site. It means pictures by children as young as 13 could be sold to advertisers.
People whose photos have been taken by Instagram users risk finding their image published without their knowledge.
The new policy will operate from the middle of January under changes to terms and conditions announced yesterday.
Instagram’s 30million global users cannot opt out and must close their accounts to maintain control over their images. The change does not affect users of Facebook, which bought Instagram for £616million in April.
The new terms make clear that users effectively hand over the rights to their pictures and personal information in exchange for ‘free’ access to Instagram.
Its website now reads: ‘You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos ... in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.’
The site also updated its privacy settings to share information about its users with Facebook as well as with other affiliates and advertisers.
Instagram says users must be at least 13 years old to sign up for the service. But the new rules assume that when an underage teenager signs up, a parent or guardian is aware that their child’s image, username and photos might be used in adverts.
The shake-up was described as a ‘disgusting’ and ‘egregious’ breach of privacy yesterday. Nick Pickles, of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘People thought they were Instagram’s customers, but in reality users are Instagram’s product. It goes to show when respecting people’s data and privacy come into conflict with profit, there’s only ever going to be one winner.’
Instagram said the changes will make it easier to integrate with Facebook.
‘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,’ it said.
It came as Simon Milner, Facebook’s UK policy director, told a Commons committee that ministers shouldn’t introduce tough laws surrounding the use of data.
‘Our services are free to users but they don’t cost us nothing. We have to pay for it and the way we pay for that is advertising and that involves innovative use of the data people provide to us,’ he said yesterday.
Instagram launched in 2010 and allows users to share on Twitter and Facebook images they have taken with digital devices including iPhones.
The app configures photos to produce a square shape similar to the Polaroid images of the 1970s. There are 11 filters that can produce a ‘retro’ look.
They already released a press statement saying the TOS for their wack service will be rewritten, cuz of the backlash
I think it's just a risk you take if you upload anything to the internet, if privacy is a concern don't put it on the internet!
That could have been some serious bra burning if it had happened.
Instagram furore triggers first class action lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) 's Instagram photo sharing service has been hit with what appears to be the first civil lawsuit to result from changed service terms that prompted howls of protest last week.
In a proposed class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court on Friday, a California Instagram user levelled breach of contract and other claims against the company.
"We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in an e-mail.
Instagram, which allows people to add filters and effects to photos and share them easily on the Internet, was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for $715 million.
In announcing revised terms of service last week, Instagram spurred suspicions that it would sell user photos without compensation. It also announced a mandatory arbitration clause, forcing users to waive their rights to participate in a class action lawsuit except under very limited circumstances.
The current terms of service, in effect through mid-January, contain no such liability shield.
The backlash prompted Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom to retreat partially a few days later, deleting language about displaying photos without compensation.
However, Instagram kept language that gave it the ability to place ads in conjunction with user content, and saying "that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such." It also kept the mandatory arbitration clause.
The lawsuit, filed by San Diego-based law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk, says customers who do not agree with Instagram's terms can cancel their profile but then forfeit rights to photos they had previously shared on the service.
"In short, Instagram declares that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don't like it, you can't stop us,'" the lawsuit says.
Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who had criticized Instagram, said he was pleased that the company rolled back some of the advertising terms and agreed to better explain their plans in the future.
However, he said the new terms no longer contain language which had explicitly promised that private photos would remain private. Facebook had engendered criticism in the past, Opsahl said, for changing settings so that the ability to keep some information private was no longer available.
"Hopefully, Instagram will learn from that experience and refrain from removing privacy settings," Opsahl said.
The civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Lucy Funes, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Instagram Inc., 12-cv-6482.
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