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Instagram’s New Privacy Policies Take Effect on Saturday

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Instagram’s New Privacy Policies Take Effect on Saturday
[ Social Media]

Just a friendly reminder: those new Instagram policies that caused such a ruckus back in December go into effect this Saturday, January 19th (but without the clause that caused most of the ruckus).

The new privacy policy and terms of service documents add a few new elements such as affiliate sharing and new arbitration rules, but do not contain any of the advertising language that led many users to accuse Instagram of trying to sell their photos without compensation.

Here’s that language that Instagram attempted to slide into their privacy policy, but public backlash forced them to remove:

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.

What we pointed out as sounding a lot like Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad product sounded a lot like the selling of photos to many people. Instagram, who I don’t believe ever had real plans to “sell” user photos in that way, screwed up by using tricky, vague language to describe a future ad product that doesn’t even really exist yet.

They acknowledged that inside an apology to users in which they pledged to remove the new ad terms from their proposed documents.

“You also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content. I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do,” said co-founder Kevin Systrom.

“Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010. Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.”

Basically, we got caught putting the cart before the horse and we’re sorry.

So that doesn’t appear in the revised documents set to go into effect this weekend. But what does?

First, there’s a new arbitration clause that forces users to opt-out if they want the ability to join class action suits in the future.

“ARBITRATION NOTICE: EXCEPT IF YOU OPT-OUT AND EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF DISPUTES DESCRIBED IN THE ARBITRATION SECTION BELOW, YOU AGREE THAT DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND INSTAGRAM WILL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING, INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION AND YOU WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OR CLASS-WIDE ARBITRATION,” says Instagram in big, bold lettering in the new terms of service.

Instagram also put a clause in their privacy policy that mimics a change made by Facebook (after that meaningless site governance vote), which allows for sharing of user information back and forth between “affiliates.”

You should read the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service before they take effect in four days.

Instagram’s New Privacy Policies Take Effect on Saturday
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  • Joe Vadis

    Already terminated my account.

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