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Appeared on: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Instagram Defends Its New Privacy Policies

Photo-sharing service Instagram, said on Tuesday it has "no plans" to incorporate user photos into ads in response to a public outcry over new privacy policies unveiled this week.

Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a blog post that users had incorrectly interpreted Instagram's revised terms of service.

"...it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear," Systrom said.

However, Systrom said Instagram may display users' profile pictures and information about who they follow as part of an ad. He added that Instagram will not incorporate users' uploaded photos as ads because the service wants "to avoid things like advertising banners."

"Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time," he said.

Users who decline to accept Instagram's new privacy policy have one month to delete their accounts, or they will be bound by the new terms.

Facebook-owned Instagram has also added terms to shield itself from similar litigation. Its new policies, which go into effect January 16, require users with a legal complaint to enter arbitration, rather than take the company to court. They prohibit users from joining a class action lawsuit unless they mail a written "opt-out" statement to Facebook's headquarters within 30 days of joining Instagram.

Instagram's response to critisism also failed to address another controversial provision that states that if a child under the age of 18 uses the service, then it is implied that his or her parent has tacitly agreed to Instagram's terms.

Obviously, Facebook is using Instagram's aggressive new terms to push the boundaries of how social media sites can make money while its own hands were tied by recent agreements with regulators and class action plaintiffs.


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