Instagram Clarifies ToS; Vows Not to Sell Your Photos



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"It's not what it looks like" Does not hold up in court, especially when some company, like Facebook or Instagram, wants to sue you.



Again, the general public fails to recognize danger of an ongoing shift toward corporate appropriation of private data. The notion behind the move is that the public should not enjoy ownership of any form of intellectual expression; instead, the public should be restricted to renting all forms of data and media on a short-term basis, including original content privately created, such as the photographs described in the above article. The public is being conditioned to surrender all forms of long-term physical information storage in exchange for storage rental provided by corporate and government entities. By uploading our information and media "into the cloud," we are surrendering all rights to original ideas and creative expression. And in the digital age, that means we are surrendering ourselves completely, willfully giving in to a new form of intellectual slavery.

I'm not a tin foil hat wearing anarchist. Rather, I'm old and cynical enough to never fully trust the government or big business. The move toward re-appropriation of intellectual property and digital information is as obvious as the sun in the sky. It's a fantastic idea: make people rent what they would normally own or enjoy for free. But I'll color the idea as nefarious as it is profitable. Over time, this move will likely pull society into a very dark place. The likely outcomes of this paradigm shift involve, in most any scenario I can imagine, constant monitoring of human thought and expression without regard for individual privacy. And that's best-case. I won't broach the more likely outcomes, which are universally horrific enough to win me that tin foil hat wearing dismissal popular amongst the snide hipsters who habit these digital halls.



Well clearly you didn't read the article because the public obviously did not "fail to recognize" as the internet blew up the second these new terms of services were released, and thousands of users (especially celebrities for obvious reasons) immediately removed all of their photos from the service and closed their accounts. In response, Instagram reversed those changes the very next day. So this article actually serves to disprove your grim outlook.

As a lead software engineer for a company which provides a "cloud" based service to businesses, generally, the goal of this "cloud" revolution is not to completely undermine user privacy or take ownership of somebody else's data. The goals for cloud-computing are usually to aggregate data from multiple sources into a single entity for processing. Then relationships and algorithms can be performed on this large dataset efficiently in order to make individual user data more meaningful. And finally, make large amounts of data widely, quickly, reliably and securely available from multiple devices while keeping them in sync with one another.

In most situations the individual user data is not of very much interest, its the relationships between several user's data which is important. That's why most cloud systems operate on an anonymous but unique identifying basis. Look at Google Maps for example. Google doesn't really give a shit about "Jim Bob" currently being located at a specific Lat/Lon. But what Google does care about is "hmmm, there's 250 users all on the same small segment of this highway, and they're all travelling at 10-20 MPH, that must mean that there's heavy traffic on this section of the highway!" and with this knowledge Google pushes information out to the entire world about the congestion on this highway. Indirectly, Google is sharing the exact location of hundreds of it's users with the entire world, but the data is anonymous and abstracted and therefore is of no serious privacy concern.

This is just a single example of why the uses of cloud computing can't be replicated purely on the client side. Now, can cloud computing be used to undermine people's privacy? You're God damn right it can. But that's where "terms of service" contracts, the law, and consumer/business relationship comes into play. If a major corporation uses your data in a way that isn't outlined in their terms of service agreement, that corporation will have a MASSIVE lawsuit on their hands. And this has happens all the time. There's also the user revolt and public relations blowout that inevitably comes from aggressive changes to a service's terms of service. This is a situation that Facebook, Apple, Google, Sony, and now Instagram know all too well. And for every single one of these large corporations that I've listed, the user revolt has always led to significant improvements in each service's terms of service.

So there's no need to be afraid of the cloud computing revolution, simply be knowledgeable about your privacy rights and be smart whenever you provide your personal information online. Being afraid of cloud computing and pushing it away only serves to cause you to miss out on all that cloud computing has to offer. And if you don't like how your privacy is being treated, than make your voice heard by notifying the company, or by taking your business elsewhere.



LOL. No conflict of interest here....

I read the article. I even read your defense of such practices. It made me laugh, because it is so very typical of corporate ideology.



"legal documents are easy to misinterpret"

Bullshit. If they're "easy to misinterpret" then it's because that's how your lawyers wrote them out. How about rewriting your ToS in easy to understand English?



Youtube does the same thing that that content!!! But as far as i know they have never been able to substantiate rights to anything people upload to youtube.

Instagram is just for idiots on the first place.



I would never use any thing connected to facebook or facebook itself.



Subtext: we are working on more complicated and harder to interpret legalese so we can have ownership of your unborn children. :p



Sounds like something Apple would do...




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