Selling your privacy, giving your rights – instagram

Parts of Instagram’s terms of Service were broken down into simple English by a lawyer. It took hours, and they did it for the children. Tests show they don’t understand the terms of use, it’s too complicated. I’m betting they don’t understand the basic tech enough either, and they are the lucky ones growing up with it.


I don’t think most of the popular apps today are any different, and I would love to see this same breakdown done with other apps’s terms and permissions, by a professional, like it was done here.

Here are a few of the translated terms:

Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.

    Although you are responsible for the information you put on Instagram, we may keep, use and share your personal information with companies connected with Instagram.

    This information includes your name, email address, school, where you live, pictures, phone number, your likes and dislikes, where you go, who your friends are, how often you use Instagram, and any other personal information we find such as your birthday or who you are chatting with, including in private messages (DMs).

    We are not responsible for what other companies might do with this information. [sic once we give your information to them or sell it to them]

    We will not rent or sell your personal information to anyone else without your permission.
    [sic – wait, the above terms say that you can sell or give any of my pics, conversations, or other data to connected companies or “others” to use anywhere around the world, and my permission has been granted by using this app]

    When you delete your account, we keep this personal information about you, and your photos, for as long as is reasonable for our business purposes. You can read more about this in our “Privacy Policy”. This is available at:

At least they are saying it in writing (although I have not read the legalease version that is included with the app – this translated version at least spells it out – Ashley Madison dating site said they would delete your data permanently for a fee (and they did not it seems) – but this company is saying they keep your stuff for as long as they want, well after your delete your account.

Instagram is also not responsible for:

    Links on Instagram from companies or people we do not control, even if we send those links to you ourselves.

    What happens if you connect your Instagram account to another app or website, for instance by sharing a picture, and the other app does something with it or takes your personal details.

    If your photos are lost or stolen from Instagram.

Although Instagram is not responsible for what happens to you or your data while you use Instagram, we do have many powers:

    We might send you adverts connected to your interests which we are monitoring. You cannot stop us doing this and it will not always be obvious that it is an advert.

    We can, but do not have to, remove, edit, block and/or monitor anything posted or any accounts that we think breaks any of these rules. We are not responsible if somebody breaks the law or breaks these rules; but if you break them, you are responsible.

    Although you do not own your data, we do own ours. You may not copy and paste Instagram logos or other stuff we create, or remove it or try to change it.

    You can close your Instagram account by logging into Instagram and completing this form: If you do, your photos, posts and profile will disappear from your account but if anyone has shared your photos or personal details, or if we have used them ourselves for any reason, they might still appear on Instagram. We will also keep all the data we already have from you and can use it as explained in other paragraphs of our policy above.

    We can change these rules whenever we like by posting an update on Instagram, whether you notice it or not.

Seriously – this is what the terms say. I understand people using it not knowing – but people should know that if you are communicating with someone via phone or other device then lots of other people have access to view, watch, record, store, and rewind that info. Unless your app is offering end-to-end-encryption with no one else having the keys but you and the person you gave a crypto key to.

Instagram goes further by offering your pics and other info to other companies and unnamed agencies – sometimes for a fee, sometimes for free – and likely forever.

Found out about this plain English translation via an article from the Washington Post -> A lawyer rewrote Instagram’s terms of use ‘in plain English’ so kids would know their privacy rights

There are many more tidbits in the article, and the official report that was published via the children’s commission in the UK. Jenny Afia, a privacy Lawyer points out “Instagram’s terms of use in total run at least seven printed pages, with more than 5,000 words, mostly written in legalese.”

I talked with several people about the other facebook app – messenger I think they call it – and asked them if they understood that it is likely listening to everyone within phone mic range and sending that info to facebook. Most people would not believe that would be true. Most people have no idea what the terms are for that app – or what it is capable of technologically.

I saw some info that says that facebook has it’s app run through all the photos on your phone in the background and sends a copy to facebook. Not just the photos your choose to share via facebook – but ALL the photos on your phone.

Some people did not care since they had nothing sexy on their phone. Other people asked how the app could do that, and what they could do to stop it. I said un-install the fakebook app and switch to something more private and secure like signal or g-data secure for messaging instead.

Some people say newer versions of android and perhaps apple devices give you the ability to restrict / revoke an apps privelages from accessing your media / pics, even if it says it needs that access in order to install and work.

Do people really not know and don’t care?

Do we need examples of things happening with this data for people to start to care?

I read recently that woman found out a restaurant (chipotle using photo without model release) was using her image in ads without her written permission.. and making money off of her image / likeness / photos – and now she is suing for 2 million dollars or so. However if you or your friends were taking selfies at a chipotle they could buy the rights from instagram for 10 bucks and be in the clear it seems.

If people realized that computers and humans are looking at the photos of your lover, of you, of your kids – reading your messages – all behind your back.. and giving all that to others whenever they want… I mean what is it going to take for people to demand their privacy back?

If I send you a dick pic and you send me a pic of your pussy, we should not have to worry that facebook, all of it’s employees will be getting a copy – and that they can sell your bikini photos to a tampon company for ads and my pics to a [insert whatever company here] – just because we had a chat app installed to keep up with a couple of friends and family from facebook.

Seriously – if you have the facebook app – warn me before getting pics, and if your phone is in listening distance.

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