Instagram starts to get slimy

The popular photo app, now owned by Facebook, has a few surprises in store for users. You might find your picture in a Facebook ad now.

By Kim Peterson Dec 18, 2012 2:08PM
Businessman using smartphone -- Image Source, Image Source, Getty ImagesInstagram is owned by Facebook (FB), a company that long ago sacrificed user privacy for oodles of advertising money. So it's hardly surprising, then, that Facebook has added a bunch of shady new rules to Instagram's user policies.

Facebook announced several changes to Instagram this week. Starting Jan. 16, it will have access to all of Instagram's user data. And Facebook can share all of that information with advertisers and outside affiliates.

Facebook may even sell your photos or use them in its own advertising. And you will get no money from the deal. "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," Facebook says in Instagram's new privacy policy and terms of service.

And in a disturbing new trend, Facebook says it doesn't even have to label the ads as advertisements. Finally, while Instagram has a minimum age of 13, the images of users under age 18 can also be used in ads without permission.

The new policies are drawing outrage from all corners of the Web. Money manager Barry Ritholtz wrote Tuesday that he deleted his Instagram account. "At this rate, its only a matter of time before Facebook gets deleted," he added.

The singer Pink had this to say on Twitter, in capital letters: "I WILL BE QUITTING INSTAGRAM TODAY. WHAT A BUMMER. YOU SHOULD ALL READ THEIR NEW RULES." One photographer asked, "Do I really have to end my love affair with #Instagram" and added the #instafail Twitter hashtag.

But Henry Blodget, the founder of Business Insider, said he doesn't think anyone will care. Instagram might lose a few thousand accounts, he said on Twitter, but that's hardly a dent to its base of 100 million.

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Dec 18, 2012 6:21PM

WHAT THE LARGE PRINT GIVETH..........the small print, taketh away.

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