It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Heads Up, Instagram Users: Soon All Your Data Will Belong to Zuck

Let the consolidation begin.
Zuck. (Photo: scrapetv.com)

Zuck. (Photo: scrapetv.com)

Bad news for anyone paranoid about what Facebook might do with his data: VentureBeat reports that as of January 16, Instagram and Facebook will begin sharing information. Resistance is futile; your data will be assimilated. “We’ve learned that by being able to share insights and information with each other, we can build better experiences for our users,” writes the company in an update of its privacy policy and terms of service.

Guess what that means! All the data points you’re generating with your use of Instagram are now available for Facebook to use in whatever it’s up to these days. 

Perhaps with Facebook’s long history of privacy-related stumbles in mind, Instagram is treading very carefully. For example:

We want to make sure you understand that you still have control over who sees your photos. You still get to choose who can see your Instagram photos, and you still get to choose whether you post your photos on Facebook.

Implied: “So don’t flip shit on us, okay?” You’re not going to end up with a unified profile or some such. And in a blog post announcing the move, Instagram also added:

“Our updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow.”

However, the update does also explicitly state that information gathered might be used to “provide personalized content and information to you and others, which could include online ads or other forms of marketing.” And, remember, both services have access to the data.

We can’t wait for the day when an Instagram snapshot of an espresso is followed by Facebook ads for espresso makers.

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at their terms of service, shall we? Or, as photographer Clayton Cubitt is calling it, Instagram’s “suicide note”:

Some of the Instagram Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions, and you hereby agree that Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content. The manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you.

Emphasis ours. Insert obligatory reference to the fact that if you’re not the paying customer, you’re the product [here].

The Borg shows no mercy.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com