What You Need to Know About the Terms of Use Update From Instagram

People all across social media have been worried about the latest terms of use update from Instagram. The update became effective on December 20, 2020. Let’s take a look at what’s causing people the most concern.

Instagram Gets (Sort of) Honest About How They’re Using You

If you’ve watched the Netflix movie The Social Dilemma, you no doubt heard the quote, “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.

The idea behind this phrase is that if you’re getting a product for free (like IG and Facebook), the company is somehow using you to make money—aka, you are the product.

Instagram makes that abundantly clear in their new update:

We use your personal data, such as information about your activity and interests, to show you ads that are more relevant to you.

It further clarifies:

Instagram explains how they ‘fund’ themselves. | Source: Instagram

Instagram claims that this is how they ‘fund’ themselves. But Instagram is owned by Facebook, which is worth close to $1 trillion. A more accurate title would be “How Our Service Profits Off of Your Data.”

The app also claims that “providing our service” requires “collecting and using your information.”

It makes sure to let you know that you, however, cannot collect information:

Collecting information is banned for anyone but Instagram. | Source: Instagram

People Are Worried About the New Data Policy

Along with an attempt at transparency, Instagram is also updating its data policy. And it’s making a lot of people concerned.

Here’s one section that’s causing concern:

Instagram uses your data in other ways. | Source: Instagram

Instagram reveals that they use your phone number, IP address, information about devices that are nearby.

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It also makes no qualms about using your location:

This app wants to know where you are. | Source: Instagram

It wants to know where you live, where you like to go, and your current information to help advertisers target you more specifically.

It’s like the app has become a place where you offer up your information to third parties for free where they used to have to enlist malicious spyware.

Certain Groups Are Especially Distraught

The new terms of use have caused an uproar in the sex worker community. But according to Mashable, the app hasn’t changed any language around the posting of suggestive content.

Instagram tries to clarify themselves. | Source: Twitter

Groups that create fan pages are also worried about their status on the app.

Fan page creators are stressed out. | Source: Twitter

Some people are worried about the rule around not being able to use a domain name or URL in your username. One user argues that it will affect bloggers and others who’ve modeled their domain name after their IG handle:

One Twitter user fears for her online existence. | Source: Twitter

Users, in general, are not happy with major updates from apps. But in this case, it seems as though not a whole lot has changed. Instagram has just become more transparent with how they’re using your information.

Click here to read the entire terms of use update.

Featured image by Antonio Salaverry via