I find it amazing that people really won’t learn when it comes to “free” web sites that just happen to make money by selling all your data, whether it’s Facebook, Google, or anyone else. Today, all over the news sites and newspapers, comes the news that Instagram (who are owned by Facebook) are basically going to sell any photos you upload to their web site without your permission, and are changing the terms and conditions to allow this.
Either people really are not concerned that a company is basically selling their personal information and data to advertisers or they haven’t really woken up to the fact that this is what they are doing. This is precisely the main reason why I basically have cancelled most, if not all, of my social networking accounts because I bothered to read the terms and conditions and saw what they were trying to do with my data! Copyright law exists to protect owners of “content” – so if I take a photograph of something, the copyright of that photograph belongs to me, and I decide what can and cannot be done with it. I don’t want to sign it away to some faceless corporation to do what they want with it, all on the basis that they are providing me “free” somewhere to store my photos.
Let’s hope Instagram gets plenty of bad PR from this, because I don’t know what’s going to stop companies from doing this and getting away with it. Perhaps it’ll need to be some high-profile celebrity or politician having their privacy rights trampled all over before something is done.
Update: Instagram/Facebook now claim they’re not really doing this. It still doesn’t inspire me with confidence though.