When you’re using the internet, everyone’s aware that privacy is somewhat of a joke. Whether you’re logging into social media or browsing Google, your information is being stored and sent to people who can make money off of what they know about you.
But over time, we become more comfortable with the platforms we interact with often, and such is the case with Instagram. But if users paid attention, they would realize that the Meta company social media platform is slowly worming its way into our lives more insidiously and eroding the rights we think we have.
1. iPhone users may or may not be aware, but there’s a feature on their phones that links with Instagram to provide their “precise” location. Under apps in iPhone settings, the Instagram “locations” tab offers an option to toggle on or off “precise location,” and many are concerned that this provides a way for criminals to track users. If the setting is toggled off, the app will only be able to determine a user’s “approximate” location. It’s a disturbing feature many users may not even know exists even as they leave GPS breadcrumbs of their day-to-day locations.
2. Your images are not your images. While there’s some ambiguity as to how many liberties Instagram can take with user images, what you sign when you agree to the Terms of Service includes a “non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content.” IG can sub-license your content without your permission for free.
3. Instagram can use your content. For any purpose they choose. Advertisement, training – the sky is the limit as to how Instagram can make use of the content you post on their platform.
4. You can be sued for copyright infringement. Everyone does it on social media: you find an image that speaks to you, right-click, save, and post it with an inspiring quote. If Instagram or concerned parties decide, they can sue you for doing exactly that – so make sure to give credit where it’s appropriate.
5. You are the product. This seems obvious, but if you pore through Instagram’s ToS, a good portion of them concern how you interact with their ads and partners. Instagram isn’t just there to be a fun place to share pictures and thoughts – it’s there to exploit your attention and interactions for cash.
That’s not to say people shouldn’t use Instagram. After all, it’s a great place to make connections and build your online presence. But pay attention to the small print; it’s a doozy.