Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Facebook, Instagram, and Privacy

On April 12, 2012Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars.  Before this purchase, Instagram was a startup with thirteen employees working out of a conference room in Silicon Valley. It was a free, photo-sharing program that does not gain revenues. The fact that Facebook paid so much to acquire a company that does not even earn money certainly raised questions.
By Ragesoss (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Instagram's user base had grown well over thirty million people, including celebrities. CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried explaining to disgruntled Instagram users that the acquisition would  not change how Instagram operates. He claimed that Instagram would remain independent.  Instagram users were still not pleased. In their eyes, Facebook was not as private as Instagram.

According to an article,
Instagram, Facebook Deal Sparks Privacy Concerns: Here’s How to Quit “Many have voiced fears that their community is being overrun by newbies and are inclined to assume the worst when it comes to the ability to control their images and privacy once Facebook takes over.” 1

Concerns included:

  • Will Facebook run facial recognition of software against them, use images to link them to other people without consent, and share images with businesses?
  • Will Facebook gather all the information you’ve shared about yourself and friends with Instagram?
  • Will Facebook start geo-tagging Instagram images automatically-something Instagram doesn’t do?

Having Instagram on Facebook may be harmless, but when do we draw the line? When do we take a stand for what we want private and what we want to share? Is anything really “private” on the Internet anymore?

Emily Salinas is a Communications major and a TSMRI intern set to graduate in May of 2013.

1. Oswald, E., Peckham, M., Jacobsson Purewal, S., & Wawro, A. (2012, April 12). "Instagram, Facebook Deal Sparks Privacy concerns: Here’s How to Quit."  PCWorld.  Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/2536 /instagram_facebook_deal_sparks_privacy
2. "Instagram Users Alarmed by Facebook Purchase."  Business News - ABC News Radio. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2012, from http://abcnewsradioonline.com/business-news/instagram-users-alarmed-by-facebook-purchase.html


  1. What I think everyone has to remember is that facebook, instagram, etc. are free services. No one should have any expectation of privacy when using the internet, but especially when using a free service. In exchange for using facebook, you have to let them do what they want with their service---if you choose to use it, you can't impose any conditions on them nor should you expect anything. The privacy they do allow users is a courtesy and a means of ensuring people continue to use their site, but it's their right to do what they want within the boundaries of their own rules that they have set. Anyone concerned about how facebook will use their info, photos, etc. probably shouldn't use it.

  2. The comfort they do allow customers is a complimentary and a indicates of guaranteeing individuals keep use their website, but it's their right to do what they want within the limitations of their own guidelines that they have set.

    Sincerely yours,

  3. We can't directly say that on Facebook and Instagram we don't have privacy, we have, though its limited. Before we signed up on any social media sites there are rules and policy that we have to agree, that's include our privacy. As a instagram users, i gladly accept and follow their rules and policy to avoid conflict.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...