Instagram New Terms of Service

Instagram has again released new Terms of Service. Most likely, we have all, again, agreed to them. Some worry that we are agreeing to things we wouldn’t normally agree to, as it is clear no one is actually reading the 5,000 word legal document.

Because of this concern, Jenny Afia, a privacy attorney located in London, has condensed the terms for easier comprehension. Jenny’s summary comes down to this: 

“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).”

Many Instagram users most likely did not know this. And most of these users are probably concerned that their information can be shared so freely. In the age of internet privacy concerns, and with identity theft at an all time high, this news may be a little unsettling. 

The unfortunate fact is that we all agree to these Terms of Service of our own free will. It is easier to click yes and move onto scrolling your feed than to even attempt to decipher the dense block of text, which is conveniently several font sizes too small to read without reading glasses or a magnifying glass. 

Knowing that Instagram has permission to use and share our information, including the private-DM-kinda-information, may make some of us think twice about using the app. Or, it will hopefully make us think twice about what information we provide. 

The biggest concern is likely for those who are most vulnerable, including and especially, kids. Teenagers under the age of 18 are still able to use Instagram and most likely are agreeing to the policies. These teens are also the most likely to give away information they may not wish to be used and shared - even if they do not know it yet. Jenny Afia is hoping that by deciphering and publicizing the language in the policy, she will bring attention to what the policy really says, and help prevent future disasters.