Wil Wheaton on Instagram’s new TOS

Like most people who have read and are concerned in any way about Instagram's new terms and conditions, Wil Wheaton is a little confused. But whatever the new legalese really means for users, Wil writes, the incident sparks a bigger concern: "It’s no longer enough for me to be careful with my opt-ins and online sharing; now I have to ensure that every single person around me is careful and respectful of my privacy wishes, as well.


  1. While Instagram *may* be able to use TOS to acquire rights to a photographer’s image, even for a commercial purpose (that remains to be seen, you can’t write something illegal into TOS and have it be enforceable, it could still be challenged in court)… Instagram would be *incredibly* stupid to use images that were anything other than artistic, abstract, or landscape photography.  You can’t use people’s image for commercial purpose without their permission.  Even if you are the original photographer and not Instagram.  Instagram would not have a waiver on file from Seth Green or Kaley Cuoco allowing them to use their image as an endorsement, so these don’t seem likely ways that Instagram would abuse this new TOS.  Not saying the TOS isn’t stupid, just that worrying about those uses is probably not useful for the argument.

  2. ‘no longer enough’? Welcome to the land of the clued-in. It’s hasn’t been enough for years now. Certainly Facebook made that much worse than it was before, but this is hardly something Instagram has done.

  3. I don’t use photo sharing services. I run a small web server (it’s also a minecraft, ftp, and VPN server) in my home on my home internet connection. When I want to share private photos with family/internet pals I put them in an .htaccess protected directory with some PHP gallery software and I’m done. More people should run small home servers, they are really not that hard to set up. I’m surprised it’s not more common.

    1. I have an even more perfect solution. I never joined Facebook, so they can’t violate my privacy. If I really want to share photos, I have the magic of email.

      But a Minecraft server would be boss.

  4. So tired of hearing about this. If a app or service you use opts in to a policy you don’t agree with simply stop using the product. It’s a very easy process.

    1. And now we must wonder forever what you might have said if you had bothered to read the post.  All two sentences of it.

  5. Was he asleep when Facebook started tagging faces in every picture uploaded to their mothership? Assimilating instagram obviously doesn’t help; but the capacity(and, indeed, the direct incentive) for the various ‘social’ crap to use the people they have hooks in to drag in the ones that they don’t (yet) have direct access to is, unfortunately, not a new thing…

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