We say.

Instagram Mosaic

Always read the small print.

Just three months after its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram released a new intellectual property policy an 18 December 2012 that allows the company to sell users' photographs without paying or notifying them.  

The new policy which was to come into force on 16 January 2013 states...

"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."  

Instagram users can, of course, opt out of this policy but only by deleting their photos before the deadline.

Faced with a huge backlash, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom announced in a blog post titled "Thank you, and we're listening" that the company will be "removing the language" from the privacy policy that gave Instagram new rights over users' content.

Whilst it seems obvious what Instagram intended to do their defence of "legal documents are easy to misinterpret" is a little weak to say the least. The policy stated...

“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.”

Seems pretty clear to us.

The moral of this story is always read the small print.  All too often webmaster boiler plate or worse, the output of a large corporate legal department can get published without being sense checked.

As a site owner you should always consider your privacy policy as carefully as any other content on your website and not leave it to the last minute and publish whatever is to hand.

As a site visitor to any website you are sharing your personal details with you should really read the privacy policy. You should, however most of us still don't.

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