Tuesday 18 December 2012

Instagram... Conflicting Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions

If you have an Instagram account, you may want to delete it BEFORE January 16th 2013....

I'm not a lawyer nor a litigator, but I do read the Terms & Conditions of services like Facebook and Instagram.   The current changes to Instragram's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy bring it closely in line with that of it's now parent company, Facebook. However, there is one difference, from what I can see....
The Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions are in conflict. Have a read for yourself...


  1. Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service's Privacy Policy, available here:http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.
  2. Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.
http://instagram.com/about/legal/terms/updated/ Rights, section 1 & 2
The above is taken from their Terms & Condtions, to be in place from January 16th.  This section is in clear conflict with the following section from the Privacy Policy:

We will not rent or sell your information to third parties outside Instagram (or the group of companies of which Instagram is a part) without your consent, except as noted in this Policy.
Parties with whom we may share your information:
  • We may share User Content and your information (including but not limited to, information from cookies, log files, device identifiers, location data, and usage data) with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Instagram is part of, or that become part of that group ("Affiliates"). Affiliates may use this information to help provide, understand, and improve the Service (including by providing analytics) and Affiliates' own services (including by providing you with better and more relevant experiences). But these Affiliates will honor the choices you make about who can see your photos.
http://instagram.com/about/legal/privacy/updated/#section3 Section 3, Sharing of your Information
That first line under Section 3.... "We will not rent or sell your information..." conflicts directly with the line from their Terms & Conditions... "a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos...".  Isn't this the exact same as selling our information!?
How can they get away with a clearly posted conflict like this?  I'll be watching this closely over the next few weeks and will probably be deleteing my instagram acocunt on 15th January!

Thank you, and we’re listening

Yesterday we introduced a new version of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service that will take effect in thirty days. These two documents help communicate as clearly as possible our relationship with the users of Instagram so you understand how your data will be used, and the rules that govern the thriving and active Instagram community. Since making these changes, we’ve heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean.
I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion. As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos.
It would appear that Instagram have had enough of a bad response to their planned changes that they are taking note.... Will anything actually change though?
Would love to know how many accounts were deleted yesterday though!  Too little, too late maybe?  Is the damage already done?
Here's what others are saying:

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