Queen's University

Changes to Instagram policies may be a form of deception: Queen's University professor

2013-01-15

Queen’s University sociology professor David Murakami Wood is available to comment on Instagram’s policy changes that may let advertisers use teenagers’ photos for marketing. The new policies, which apply to users as young as 13, enable Instagram to use members’ names, text, photos and other content without paying compensation.

“The problem with Instagram and indeed with its parent company, Facebook, is that it is working by a form of deception: users are sucked in and upload all kinds of content, and then the company changes the rules and says – ‘we will own all of this (unless you tell us otherwise by a certain date),’” says Dr. Murakami Wood. “It's particularly deceptive because they present it as minor Terms of Service changes. What we need is transparency on the part of these companies so users can make informed decisions. Informed consent is a basic principle of data protection and privacy provision.”

Dr. Murakami Wood is a sociology professor who works at Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s which focuses on how government agencies and companies monitor and control society.

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