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Instagram Policy Primer

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An exploration of Instagram's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and what they mean for you.

This presentation was created for NET303 at Curtin University.

Published in: Social Media
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Instagram Policy Primer

  1. 1. Instagram An exploration of the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and what they mean for you (Instagram, 2016d).
  2. 2. What is Instagram? “Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures” (Instagram, 2016b) Further to this, Instagram allows you to share videos, and message with other users. Instagram currently has over 500 million active users, who upload a collective 95 million photos or videos a day, and provide 4.2 billion likes daily (Instagram, 2016e). (Instagram, 2016c).
  3. 3. Odds are, you use Instagram.
  4. 4. But when you signed up, did you read the Terms of Use or Privacy Policy?
  5. 5. Probably not. One survey found that only 7% of people read the Terms of Use for online services (Smithers, 2011).
  6. 6. It’s understandable too. They’re long, boring, and full of legal jargon.
  7. 7. Despite this, it’s important to know and understand at least the main parts, as they “affect your legal rights and obligations” (Instagram, 2013b).
  8. 8. This presentation will dissect Instagram’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, highlighting the points that are important to you, to keep you out of trouble.
  9. 9. Terms of Use
  10. 10. There are a number of obvious and generic Terms, such as: - You must be 13+ years old - No bad behaviour (bullying, abusing, harassing) - No interfering or disrupting the service (Instagram, 2013b).
  11. 11. And there are a number of Terms which are not so obvious, and extremely important to you.
  12. 12. What can’t you post? You are agreeing not to post “violent, nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful” content. This might sound straight forward, but it isn’t. When it comes to nudity, the Community Guidelines state that breastfeeding and nudity in artwork such as paintings and sculptures is allowed (Instagram, 2016a). Therefore, you have to be careful with any risqué content you are considering to post, and it is best to err on the side of caution to stay out of trouble. (Instagram, 2013b).
  13. 13. Who owns your photos? You do. But… You give Instagram license rights, the terms of which are very broad. Basically, any content you post, Instagram can use for free, wherever and whenever they want, and can also give a third party those same rights (Bowan, 2015). This is extremely important to keep in mind with all content you post, for example, photos or videos of your family or content you wish to make money from as a professional. (Instagram, 2013b).
  14. 14. Copyright – using others’ photos You cannot post others’ content as you wish, you have to follow copyright law. By agreeing to the Terms of Use, you are stating that you have permission to post any copyrighted content, and “agree to pay all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed” for the any of the content that you use. As this is the case, it is best to just post images and videos that you have taken yourself, rather than posting random content you find on the web. (Instagram, 2013b).
  15. 15. Liability When it comes to liability, Instagram is quite thorough in removing all legal responsibility from itself. A list of things Instagram states it is not liable for includes the actions of other users, any third party services, loss of content, and “Any loss or damages of any kind” to you, including economic, death or personal injury. So you are agreeing that you cannot blame them for anything that happens on, or because of, the service. This means you are responsible for yourself, and must be careful in your use of Instagram. (Instagram, 2013b).
  16. 16. Termination Violating the Terms of Use may result in Instagram shutting down your account. But, Instagram also holds the right to “modify or terminate the Service or your access to the Service for any reason, without notice, at any time”. So don’t take your access to the service for granted, and keep backups of all your content to avoid loss. (Instagram, 2013b).
  17. 17. Ultimately common sense will keep you out of trouble, but just remember if you’re unsure about anything, check the Terms of Service.
  18. 18. Privacy Policy
  19. 19. Instagram’s Privacy Policy informs you of the information they collect, and what they intend to do with it.
  20. 20. This is important as Instagram is a free service, and “If you are not paying for [a service], you're not the customer; you're the product being sold”. (blue_beetle, 2010).
  21. 21. The amount of information collected may surprise you. (Keep an eye out for the vague terms they use too)
  22. 22. Information they collect Firstly, Instagram collects the information you provide directly to them, which includes your username, email, phone number, password, profile information, the content you upload, and the comments you make. They also use third-party analytics tools that collects information such as the web pages that you visit, any add-ons you use, and “other information”. Instagram states that they, or third parties such as advertisers or “other partners”, may use cookies, which can track your online history (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2016), or other such technologies to collect information too. (Instagram, 2013a).
  23. 23. Information they collect If you’re using a smartphone or tablet, Instagram may store files on your device which identify your device, and allows them to access information about how you browse and use the Service. Instagram records almost every interaction you have with the service, by logging your IP address, your clicks, the pages you viewed, how you entered and exited the service, your browser type “and other such information”. From all of this, you can assume that everything you give, and everything you do, is being recorded and stored by Instagram. (Instagram, 2013a).
  24. 24. Instagram uses this information in- house for a number of reasons, including helping them improving the service, monitoring how the service is used, and providing content that is personalised just for you. (Instagram, 2013a).
  25. 25. Who do they share it with? But Instagram isn’t the only one who uses this information. They state that they share all of this information with other companies within the Facebook group, and “third-party organizations that help us provide the Service to you”. They also state that they share “certain information such as cookie data” with advertising partners. This is done because this data allows “for more focused and therefore more lucrative advertising” (Barbaro & Zeller, 2006). Meaning more and more companies have a hold of your information. (Instagram, 2013a).
  26. 26. Who do they share it with? When it comes to legal requests, Instagram states that they may share this information if they believe the law requires them to do so. This is important, as last year Facebook reported that “there has been an increase in government requests for… user data throughout the world” (Savvides, 2015). With legal requests of social media data and content on the rise, it is important that you remember “Anything you post on a social media site may be used as evidence against you” (Lawstuff, 2013), even in private accounts, as court orders can be obtained to access that data (Bosick, 2015). (Instagram, 2013a).
  27. 27. What if you leave Instagram? If you decide to leave Instagram, or are terminated by the Service, Instagram and third-parties that it has already shared your information with can retain this information, meaning your information is still being used. If Instagram closes down or is bought by another company, all of the information collected may be sold or transferred, meaning you have no guarantee that Instagram will be the only organisation that holds all of this information about you. (Instagram, 2013a).
  28. 28. All of this is important for you to keep in mind, especially when deciding if you want to use the service, and also when you are using it as it should shape how you use it.
  29. 29. References Barbaro, M., & Zeller, T. (2006, August 9th). A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749. The New York Times. blue_beetle. (2010, August 26). RE: User-driven discontent [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/95152/Userdriven-discontent#32560467 Bosick, M. (2015). Is Social Media Evidence Admissible in Court? Retrieved from https://smiaware.com/legal/is-social-media- evidence-admissible-in-court/ Bowan, N. (2015, January 28). Who owns your Instagram content? [Web log post]. http://www.socialmedialawbulletin.com/2015/01/who-owns-your-instagram-content/ Instagram. (2013a). Privacy Policy. Retrieved from https://help.instagram.com/155833707900388/ Instagram. (2013b). Terms of Use. Retrieved from https://help.instagram.com/478745558852511/ Instagram. (2016a). Community Guidelines. Retrieved from https://help.instagram.com/477434105621119/ Instagram. (2016b). FAQ. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/about/faq/
  30. 30. References Instagram. (2016c). Feed [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram-brand.com/ Instagram. (2016d). Glyph [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram-brand.com/ Instagram. (2016e). Press News. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/press/?hl=en Lawstuff. (2013). Self-Incrimination & Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.lawstuff.org.au/wa_law/topics/article21 Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. (2016). Online Privacy: Using The Internet Safely. Retrieved from https://www.privacyrights.org/consumer-guides/online-privacy-using-internet-safely Savvides, V. (2015). Government Requests For Social Media Data Jump. Retrieved from http://theticker.org/government- requests-for-social-media-data-jump Smithers, R. (2011, May 11). Terms and conditions: not reading the small print can mean big problems. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com

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