Instagram, now under Facebook banner, changes privacy policy

Instagram is updating its privacy policy in order to share data with Facebook, which bought Instagram earlier this year. 

Kevin Systrom, chief executive of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app now owned by Facebook, displays his photo on a mobile phone during an interview with Reuters at the LeWeb technology conference in Aubervilliers, near Paris, on Dec.4, 2012.

Beginning Jan. 16, Instagram will institute a new privacy policy allowing it to share data with Facebook, which acquired Instagram earlier this year. In a blog post, Instagram promised that "nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them."

The new policy, Instagram continued, was a matter of necessity.

"Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups," Instagram wrote. "This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used." 

You can access the full revised privacy policy here

But if you're looking for the most pertinent part of the policy, navigate down to section 3, which is titled "Sharing of Your Information." An excerpt: 

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.

Over at CNET, Don Reisinger zeroes in on that upper-cased (and extremely vague) mention of "Affiliates." 

"Instagram doesn't specifically identify which companies are considered affiliates," Reisinger writes, "but the company does note that they're providing their 'own services (including providing you with better and more relevant experiences).' In other words, advertising could be included."

It's been a busy week for Instagram, a photo-sharing platform launched two years ago by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Last week, Instagram dropped support for "Twitter cards," a design feature that allowed users to embed multimedia content into their tweets. Twitter promptly launched a photo filter platform of its own, opening the door for all sorts of punditry and procrastinating about the brewing war between Twitter and Facebook. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Instagram, now under Facebook banner, changes privacy policy
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today