Get Ready: Instagram Owns You and Your Memories

Yes, Instagram, the free  photo site , will own you and every image you slap on its site,  warns RICHARD LUTZ.

It has announced that as of Jan 16th, it will have the right to take your pictures and sell them on.

It will change its terms to open the door to cashing in on your web collections.

Among the interested buyers will be advertisers. So that cuddly pic of your 2 year old daughter can be used  for baby lotion or a cosmetic ad; that photo of your boyfriend can be used for condom sales or to sell semi automatic weapons in Kentucky; and,  that photograph of your aged mother can be hawked around  to sell quack medicines to the old.

According to press reports,  Instagram says that  users  “agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos… in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

So you have until the 16th of  January to opt out of Instagram. After that, your pictures, your lover’s face, your memories will be a commercial product thanks to Facebook, which owns the site, and its subsidiary Instagram.

This turn of events will come as no surprise to those who have followed articles on this site about the potential nastiness intrinsic to many social media sites.

They de-sensitive users (many of them teenagers) to believe that information, gossip, libel, photos and videos will remain confidential or semi private. It doesn’t.

Only last month, we revealed how experts suspect that social media sites actually own the music you download and bought…or didn’t buy because legal eagles say you actually ‘take out’ a song rather like you take out a book from a library. ITunes, for  instance, actually owns your music if it is on your tablet or IPhone. Not you.

So beware. The Instagram photograph you own… may not be yours in less than a month. The site’s managers are betting on consumer apathy to let the deadline pass.

Then they cash in on your life.