Did Instagram really update their TOS like they said they would?
Topic: General Legal, Social Media
Time Investment: 5 Minutes
Suggested Product: BizRevamp®
So what changes were actually made? Let’s take a look at what the new terms of service mean, and how they will affect you. As a business owner you should always be aware of the marketing outlets you are using and how they impact your business.
As mentioned in our prior blog post, by using Instagram you are entering into a contract with the company. Those who do not wish to be bound by the terms of service really have no choice to avoid the terms if they use the service. Thus, as a condition of using Instagram, you grant your consent to whatever terms Instagram creates for you.
Updated Terms of Service
The updated terms of service still require you to grant a license to Instagram:
INSTAGRAM CAN STILL SHARE YOUR INFO
“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.”
While the first part of the above provision seems to convey that no information will be shared without your consent, the last part of the provision provides a very broad exception. That exception states that information that is outlined in the policy can be shared without your consent.
Some of the information that is shared according to the terms of the policy includes:
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.
This provision explicitly outlines that Instagram can share your content, including photographs and other items that you post on the site, with businesses that are part of the Instagram group of companies. The last sentence in the provision states that the “affiliates will honor the choices that you make,” presumably this refers to the privacy settings that you select on Instagram. This provision basically makes the privacy settings that you select on Instagram “opt out” provisions, by default it appears as if Instagram will still share your content with Third Party affiliates.
While the changes are much less intrusive than the previous draft terms that were announced, the fact remains that Instagram reserves the right to use your photos and share those photos with third party affiliates for use in advertising.
What you can immediately do is to change your privacy settings to reflect your choice that your “photos are private.” To do this, go to your Instagram account settings and then switch “Photos are private” to the “on” position.
Keep in mind that the previous recommendations that were made regarding posting content to online services such as Instagram remain in effect, despite the changes in the terms of service that were less ominous that the ones previously announced.