Instagram just claimed the right to sell your photos to anyone

People are likely going to be deleting their Instagram accounts in droves, following the news that Instagram is now claiming the right to sell any of your photos to a third party, without giving you a dime for them, nor will you ever know they did it.  And after mid-January, you can’t even opt out.

You have until January 16, 2013 to delete your account, if you don’t, then they’re going to claim the right to sell your photos and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Wired has a good explanation of how to download your photos from Instagram and delete your account

And of course, who owns Instagram, but Facebook – not known for its love of privacy.

Here is the new provision of Instagram’s non-privacy policy:

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.

instagramUh no thank you.  And what about the privacy of children?  Can Instagram even do this, take a photo of an underage child and put it on some billboard without the parent’s permission?

Of course, Instagram will argue that they got your permission when you opened your account (or refused to delete it), since that’s what they said they were going to do with your photos – sell them.  But how does a ten year old give permission for her likeness to be sold worldwide, without her parent’s knowledge?  How does that count as “permission,” when the kid is only 10?

More from CNet:

That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo. The language would include not only photos of picturesque sunsets on Waikiki, but also images of young children frolicking on the beach, a result that parents might not expect, and which could trigger state privacy laws.

I get that it’s hard to keep an online business alive in these difficult times.  But simply declaring that  you might sell people’s personal photos to anyone, at any time, for any purpose, is a bit much. This may have been a fatal move by Instagram. And just wait until they put somebody’s kid on some billboard.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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