In an earlier post we talked about various apps and the risks associated with them. In these subsequent posts, we will scratch the surface a little bit and dig a little deeper to understand the privacy implications of one app in particular – Instagram. Now, that our very own Big B, Mr. Amitabh Bachhan is going to be an Instagrammer, we need to keep abreast of all the hot gossip without becoming a topic of gossip ourselves.
But first a little about Instagram.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a photo sharing mobile app that’s available for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app allows you to upload a photo from your mobile device library or take a photo right away and use the app to change the way it looks.
The app then gives you the option to hashtag and upload it to the Instagram community where people all over the world can like and comment on it. You can also simultaneously share the photo to all the social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, etc. depending on the ones that you sync to your Instagram account.
What is the basic information required to create an Instagram account?
Your first and last name, username, birthday, gender, bio, email address and phone number.
Who can see your photos?
By default Instagram allows people from all over the world i.e. anyone and everyone to view your profile. Instagram allows you to hashtag (#) your photos, so if you tag your photo as #building, it shows up in any related searches for buildings. If your photo is liked a lot then it can make it to the popular list and every user has the option to follow other Instagram users. Additionally if you have a location associated with a photo, it will appear on the Photo map. It will also show up on geolocation tag page.
What happens if you share the photo to other social networks?
The image will be visible on the social network (Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, etc.) and the permalink will be active. This simply means anyone who has the photo’s direct link/URL can access the photo.
What’s more you might just see your photo being thrown up in Google Search. How?
If you use a web viewer to log in to your Instagram account, it authorizes them to access your profile and images.
So basically, if you are not careful enough you can expose a lot about your location, identity, likes and dislikes with this app.