Instagram Can Soon Sell Your Photos Without Permission, Payment, Or Even Notification

All your photo are belong to us, says the Facebook-owned photo-sharing site.

Instagram has just revealed its new data policy— and it's a move that may have its more privacy-sensitive users deleting their accounts. The firm, bought by Facebook earlier this year for a whole heap of cash, has decided that, beginning on January 16, 2013, it will own the perpetual right to license all photos on its site to other firms or organizations for publicity. As CNET puts it, the move would "effectively transform Instagram into the world's largest stock photo agency." Jenna Wortham and Nick Bilton of the New York Times have rounded up what the changes mean for the site's users.

We suspected things would move in this direction. For now Facebook, Instagram's parent-guardian, is staying silent on the matter (but Noah Kalina, Mark Zuckerberg's wedding photographer, is not). Om Malik has already said— on Facebook— what many people are thinking. "How many of you guys disagree with the Instagram terms of service change and do you worry about Facebook and its somewhat loose attitude towards privacy and what it would do to make a buck?" he posted earlier today.

The only way to opt out of these terms of service is by deleting your account before the revisions take effect, on January 13 (but don't forget to download your Instagram pics first). Is this a tactic on Facebook/Instagram's part, asking for something ridiculous, waiting for the backlash, and then coming back with a seemingly more moderate offer? Or is this the way that Zuckerberg sees his firm going? And, most pressingly, will you now delete your Instagram account?

One last thing. All those little birdies who work at Twitter must be jumping for joy.

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28 Comments

  • Adit Sharda

    Already deleted my account. And it wouldn't be a shocker if I have to do the same for Facebook too.

  • L-Baby

    I have never used instagram or anything like it.  I take a picture with my *camera* and only share them sparingly with people I trust.

  • Maria Emma Faria

    I love instagram! I'm deleting my account before the 13th. I think we all should close our accounts that day. Just to make a statement.

  • john hamm

    what if i post up a bunch of annie liebowitz photos onto my instagram. will they own those? cool!

  • michaelshaddox

    People are tired of Facebook's lame attempts at trying to monetize their brands. There are so many better ways of making money by providing a great service, but Facebook/Instagram keep getting it wrong. #instabyebye

  • Brian Roth

    Facebook's stock is looking REAL good right now. imo, this is purely to find another way to increase revenue to drive up the cost of their shares

  • Amber Williams

    This is what happens when you get bought out by a company of desensitized privacy outlaws.  I'm incredibly disappointed in Instagram.  I'll be using Twitter's photo filter now. 

  • madclark

    TANSTAAFL==There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch   So how long do we all think that "free" apps are/will be free?  
    And please remember--Facebook started as a hack of school records because Mark S. and friends decided that their wants were greater than legalities and proprieties.

    So if you wish to protect your family and friends from the embarrassment of being the "face" of a product they would never use/endorse/sanction then delete that Instagram today.

    Lesson: READ THE T.O.S. ON ALL OF THE APPS/SOFTWARE YOU USE

  • Brenda Winfield

    My question is, will that "new data policy" eventually apply to your Facebook page?   Will Facebook suddenly declare that any photos on your Facebook page are now their property to do with what they will?  Should we be deleting our Facebook profiles???

  • Dannis

    read your facebook terms.....thats already the case.

    and you cant delete your profile.

    Since facebook that owns it ....not you.

    SIGH.

    Sometimes i j ust wish people would take part of the world.
    Ignorance like this is part of the problem, since any company can write any fucked up rules they want.

    and the general person dosent even care "but the product is free"   NO YOU FUCKING NOOB!!!!

    You are the product...... 

  • NM Dog Lover

    Of course!  Facebook wants to take everything from everyone, which is why Zuckerberg is so anxious for people to "share everything."  This is just their toe in the water test.  But then, FB has already taken a lot from its users:  their browsing history away from FB, for example.  Despicable company.

  • Biff Humble

    The move does not "effectively transform Instagram into the world's largest stock photo agency." Stock photo agencies pay the producers of their product for the right to sell it. Instagram will effectively transform into the world's largest intellectual property thief.