Instagram plans to sell your photos to advertisers

In an astonishing demonstration of nerve, Instagram has declared that from next January it has the right to use your name and photos for anything it likes – including selling them to third parties for use in ads.

Following its acquisition by Facebook earlier this year, the company’s changing its privacy policy and terms of service, improving and updating them, it says – although many users may disagree.

The changes give Instagram sweeping new powers to use your photos as it likes. In a blog post, it says the aim is to help get rid of spam and improve reliability. But the new terms themselves focus rather more on advertising.

“You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy,” they read.

“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

The policy even applies to under-eighteens, who by using the site are deemed to have got the consent of at least one of their parents.  Jeffrey Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, has told Bloomberg he intends to ask the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to ensure that teens’ privacy is preserved: more rights groups are likely to follow suit.