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Instagram co-founder reassures users over controversial privacy policy

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Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has spoken out to "eliminate the confusion" following an update to the photo-sharing service's privacy policy.

The proposed changes to the privacy policy and terms of use, published yesterday (December 17), seemingly claimed the right to sell users' photos to advertisers without seeking prior consent.

Instagram logo

© Instagram

Instagram web profiles screenshot

© Instagram



Systrom published a post titled "Thank you, and we're listening" to Instagram's corporate blog today to put users of the Facebook-owned service at ease.

"Since making these changes, we've heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean," he wrote.

"As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we're going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos."

Systrom went on to address individual concerns, stating that Instagram was created to become a business but explaining that the intent was not to sell users' content without permission.

Rather, it seems the service is to experiment with sponsored stories in a similar manner to Facebook advertising.

"It would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow [an advertising] business," Systrom added. "Some of the data you produce - like following the account and your profile photo - might show up if you are following this business."

On content ownership, Systrom notes that "Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over photos".

"We respect that your photos are your photos. Period."

A number of celebrities have already pledged to delete their Instagram accounts and it is not yet known if accounts that were deleted will be recoverable.

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