Who Owns Your Digital Life?

Online privacy changes and Instagram. Who owns your digital life?

Instagram is a popular photo-sharing social network.

Instagram is a popular photo-sharing social network.

Wild uproar this week in the world of Instagram – the digital photo-sharing app that’s had a hundred million users flooding smartphones with snapshots of their breakfast, their kids, their boyfriend’s new haircut.  On Monday, Instagram – the overnight sensation that Facebook bought for a billion dollars – announced a change in terms of service.

And it looked like they were going to let advertisers slap your photos into any ad they wanted.  Like they owned your face.  Your kid’s.  Your photo life.  Insta-world went nuts.

This hour, On Point:  the Instagram uproar, and who owns your digital life.

-Tom Ashbrook


Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology channel.

Justin Brookman, director for Center for Democracy and Technology’s Project on Consumer Privacy.

Richard Koci Hernandez, an Emmy-winning photographer and assistant professor at the Berkeley School of Journalism.

From Tom’s Reading List

Slate “Here we go again. “Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos,” writes CNET, in a post that has been shared on Facebook an almost unfathomable 750,000 times and counting in one day. Cue utter, abject freakout from the tech blogosphere. “Instagram has some nerve,” fumes ZDNet. “Not cool bro,” huffs VentureBeat. Wired publishes a piece of service journalism entitled, “How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account.” Instagram users start doing exactly that, in droves. One labels the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service’s new terms of use “Instagram’s suicide note.“”

C-Net “That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo. The language would include not only photos of picturesque sunsets on Waikiki, but also images of young children frolicking on the beach, a result that parents might not expect, and which could trigger state privacy laws.”

New York Times “Facebook and Instagram have both hinted at plans to incorporate advertisements into Instagram’s application, although they have declined to provide details about how and when ads would be deployed. These freshly drafted terms give the first glimpse of what the companies might have planned. Here’s a quick rundown of what the new terms, the most significant changes in Instagram’s short history, could mean for users.”

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