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Instagram, Acquisitions, and the Long-Term Ownership of Your Personal Data



Engadget and gdgt founder Ryan Block has published an op-ed over at The New York Times on why he has decided to quit Instagram. It comes in the aftermath of Instagram’s policy hoopla, but it’s not the same argument you’ve been seeing all over the web:

As technology companies work overtime to make it easier to sign up and maintain accounts, little regard is given to the long-term ownership and use of our data. After all, it’s far easier for each of us to simply forget and neglect all the random sites and services we’ve signed up for than to keep up with the innumerable changes to opaque terms of service and privacy policy documents, or monitor every merger and acquisition of every company that makes something we use. In fact, to do so would basically be a full-time job, and an excruciatingly tedious one at that.

Block gives an example of how his account on Friendster (once a dominant social network) was eventually sold to a random company geared toward Southeast Asian youth, resulting in a flood of marketing messages. Obviously his argument applies to not only Instagram, but most photo-sharing services on the web today.

Ryan Block: Why I’m Quitting Instagram [NYTimes]

Image credit: Ryan Block – Launch Conference – San Francisco by kk+