Instagram: The Instant Loss Of Privacy


Instagram Teaches You To Make A Quick Buck

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he illegally hacked into Harvard’s protected computer networks to do it.

When Instagram became popular, no one expected that Facebook would buy it.

It was of course a successful marriage, a very rare thing in today’s time. After all the incidents of cyber stalking and people having their accounts hacked into and the class action suits against it, Facebook finally found its niche. And now Instagram is threatening not only that niche but also its users’ privacy. As of January 2013, Instagram will be instating new policies that allow the sale of user posted photos by Instagram.

The new policy states that Instagram may allow third parties to display the users’ photos and other details for promotions and sponsored events, for a fee. The user will not be given any compensation or notification. There is no option to opt out of the changed terms of use. The only way to avoid the change is to delete the account.

Instagram is a social networking site that allows its users to take a picture and share it on other social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, users can apply a filter to their photos before posting them online. Initially available only for the iPhone, the growing popularity of Instagram prompted its developers to create an app for Android devices as well.

The distinct feature of Instagram is that it confines photos to a square shape as opposed to the 4:3 aspect ratio generally used by cameras in mobile phones. The downside; in order to make a quick buck, Instagram has decided to sell their users’ privacy. The point of these apps is to make social networking easier, but all they did was to make it more dangerous for the users. And the new terms make it harder for users to maintain their security.

Legally, Instagram has insulated itself to avoid the battery of lawsuits it will undoubtedly receive after this stunt. This is the latest move from a social networking site testing the boundaries it can push to make money. After Google’s +1 debacle last year, where it made all information on the site accessible to public scrutiny, Facebook has come under heavy fire for allowing Instagram, to go forward with this move.

This is the price you pay for convenience, you forfeit your privacy and the assurance that your face will never end up on a photo attached to a naked body. Or that your face might randomly turn up attached to an ad for herpes.

Varanya Vijaykumar

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