UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 11, 2022

Tech Sassy: Terms and conditions have always applied

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Sound the alarms and circle the wagons because Facebook and Instagram are at it again, changing those pesky privacy policies and causing mass uproar and panic.

The short version of the changes is pretty simple: By using the Facebook and Instagram social media services, you give the companies the right to your information to use in multiple ways. The newest policy they’ve added is in their advertisements. 

Users are up in arms because the websites can now use your photos for advertising without paying. You can read the whole legal spiel on either website (http://instagram.com/about/legal/privacy/ and http://www.facebook.com/policies/) for the full details.

This is America, the land of free—freedom to post our opinions and to share our lives in pictures and videos—so why shouldn’t our lives we so openly show be personal? Why can’t we keep the social media providers out of our business? Just give the sarcasm a minute to sink in.

The simple answer is if you want your information to be private, keep it to yourself.

It’s all in that long user agreement section that no one reads when signing up on these websites. That happens to be the case anytime you share information online. Of course the web masters are allowed to use it; they are allowing you to use their websites for free.

I will admit I don’t read through all of the mumbo jumbo in the terms and conditions when I sign up for a website, nor do I read the updates every few months when they come out.

When the news first broke that Instagram was changing it’s policy, I thought I would be outraged like everyone else. However, what I found was that I really don’t care. 

If users don’t read the agreement before signing up for a service, how can they have any expectations when it comes to how their information is used? It all comes back to a knowledge-is-power mindset. If you are concerned about your privacy with an online service, be concerned from the beginning; know what you are getting into with the site.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m all about my privacy on the Internet. I’ve dealt with information being sold from one company to another. What I’m saying is don’t just expect your information to be private. Read the terms and privacy policy, set your information to private, and don’t send content to people if you don’t want it shared.

And if you don’t like the level of privacy on a site, don’t join it.

Every site is required to keep its privacy policy and terms and conditions easily available. Review them if you have concerns, but don’t take it personally when they update the wording in the policy that hasn’t been read in the first place.