No doubt you’ll all remember the public outcry last year when Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram announced changes to its terms of service. The update was to allow better collaboration between Instagram and Facebook, although many were angry that their photos could now seemingly be sold or used in adverts without their permission. Many users also took to Twitter to express their intentions to delete their Instagram accounts.
Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, changed the wording in the policy which had caused the consternation, but this did not do enough to stop a class action lawsuit being filed in response to the changes to Instagram’s terms of service in December 2012. The suit filed by San Diego-based law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk alleges that even if a user deleted their Instagram account, they would forfeit rights to the photos they had already uploaded.
Instagram are this week seeking to have the class action lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiff, Lucy Funes, could have deleted her account before the changes in the terms of service went into effect. The policy changes were announced on December 17th, Funes filed her lawsuit on December 21st, while the changes didn’t actually come into effect until January 19th.
However this particular case concludes, this issue of data ownership where social networks are concerned is still a hot topic. It is becoming increasingly apparent that users are keen to get their hands on their own content, as evidenced by the large numbers of Twitter users voicing their impatience at not yet being able to download an archive of their tweets.
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