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 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:
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 reveals that they use your phone number, IP address, information about devices that are nearby.
It also makes no qualms about using your location:
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
Groups that create fan pages are also worried about their status on the app.
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:
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.
Featured image by Antonio Salaverry via Shutterstock.com.