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Facebook-Instagram Deal Raises New Privacy Worries

Publication Date: 
April 09, 2012
Cnet News
Declan McCullagh

Ryan Calo, CIS Director of Privacy and Robotics, spoke with Cnet's Declan McCullagh on how Facebook's acquisition of Instagram will allow them to use Instagram's data as their own.

Facebook's planned acquisition of Instagram is already raising privacy concerns, despite chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's pledge this morning that he wouldn't simply "integrate everything" into the larger social-networking site.

Twitter has been deluged with Instagram users turned insta-quitters, who griped: "I hate Facebook and the lack of privacy now I have to remove my pics before I can't." And: "You know what Instagram was missing? Ads and privacy invasions. All it took was 1 billion dollars to make that happen." Traffic is spiking to Web sites that let you leave Instagram and take your photos with you.


"The larger issue to me is that Facebook is adding Instagram data to its own," says Ryan Calo, a privacy researcher at Stanford University's Center for Internet and Society. "Instagram users thought they were signing up for a simple service, of relatively little utility to advertisers or government. Now that data is likely to be combined with an entire social graph. I picture the consumer happily paddling down a data rivulet only to find themselves suddenly on the open waters of the social sea."