The popular Instagram app has users in Georgia and all across the world. However, it is now facing a class-action lawsuit after it reportedly changed the terms of service. The changes are said to violate the privacy of its users and has caused a mass exodus of customers. Facebook has recently acquired Instagram, and it has stated they will vigorously defend the breach of contract claims made by the lawsuit.
The co-founder has made a statement about the changes in order to stop customers from continuing to leave the application. He has stated the company does not plan to sell anyone’s photos and there will soon be updated language to make their new terms easier to understand. However, the breach of contract lawsuit is still in play. One of the sticking points appears to be the fact that users can leave the site, but they would lose any rights to pictures they may have shared when using the service.
However, Instagram is fighting back against the accusations and claims the company does not own the photos, their customers do. One portion of the ownership rights in the company’s terms of service states the company makes no claims of ownership over the photos and they acknowledge any photos taken are the property of their users. Users are still concerned about their privacy rights, and are worried they will find their pictures used in advertisements without their permissions. As of now, users feel like this is a very real scenario, but Instagram denies it would resort to such tactics.
Facebook asserts that the breach of contract lawsuit has no merit and they are prepared to fight such claims in court. With Georgia users and those across the world watching, this lawsuit could very well be in the headlines for a long time. When Facebook acquired the photo sharing service, the privacy settings became a much watched topic. Once Instagram changed its terms, the lawsuit that resulted appears to have surprised no one, but the company appears to be prepared to defend itself against the class-action lawsuit in hopes of being victorious.
Source: thenextweb.com, “Instagram Facing Class-Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Breach of Contract,” Ken Yeung, Dec. 24, 2012