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Privacy Policy Changes By Facebook and Instagram Trigger Widespread Online Protests

Instagram is a popular photo sharing app that has millions of users all over the world. Recently, the company was purchased by Facebook in a deal that reportedly cost Mark Zuckerberg $1 billion. Privacy policy changes are common but the latest change by Instagram triggered a lot of unrest among its widespread user community. Reportedly, these changes affect not only the users who are above the legal age of 18 but also kids as young as 13 years old. Celebrities and public figures were the worst threatened by these privacy policy changes. Although co-founder of the company publicized in a blog that they are working on language changes to make the privacy policy updates more clear, experts and users were still skeptical.

Privacy Policy changes By Instagram

Privacy Policy changes By Instagram

 

Users Take to Social Networking Sites to Show Their Displeasure

Tiffani Thiessen, a long time Instagram user tweeted ‘really sad to end my luv 4 @instagram. Will be deleting my account due 2 their ridiculous new terms’. This was a reasonably measured tweet when you compare it to the swear words and bashing that many other users resorted to. Most of them were quite vocal in their Facebook pages and Tweets that they would rather delete their account than have their privacy invaded in such an open and official manner.

What Exactly Are The Privacy Changes?

The recent privacy policy that has been released by Instagram suggests that the company might use the pictures posted for their advertising needs. The privacy policy that the users have already agreed to allows Instagram the latitude to use personal information (read pictures) in advertisements or any other company sanctioned event without the consent of the users. This is frankly ridiculous in an age where contacting someone using an anonymous social media account is considered as an invasion of privacy. It makes you wonder what the privacy policy makers of Instagram were thinking while coming up with this policy.

Instagram Co-Founder Calls for Patience on the Part of Users

With users expressing their ire and opposition over social networking sites, the co-founder of Instagram also took to twitter and called for a little understanding amongst its users. The tweet did not reveal anything about the proposed changes but all it did was include a call for patience among Instagram users. Later on, a blog post in Instagram official blog by the co-founder said that the users have apparently misinterpreted the privacy policy changes. The post further added that the company officials were working on changing the language structure used in the policy to facilitate clear understanding.

Privacy Advocates and Legal Experts Beg to Differ

However, legal experts and privacy advocates were of the opinion that the language structure used in Instagram privacy policy update is quite clear. An expert on the condition of anonymity said that the policy is so detailed that it includes clauses that speak about the privacy rights of kids as young as 13 years. The expert concluded by saying that there is no ambiguity in the understanding and the privacy policies are flawed more than anything else.

What Are The Consequences?

If you agree to the new privacy policy of Instagram, you are giving the company latitude to use your personal information. This means, you can see your picture in an ad that you have no affiliation with, the only reason being the picture was posted in Instagram. More than the common man, celebrities are affected by this because they will have legal obligations defined by a contract with brands. They might face lawsuits just because they posted a picture on Instagram and that picture was used by the company as they had a right to do it. Unless Instagram does something about this, its popularity is going to hit the rock bottom. 

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