(Wichita, KS)—Instagram is now backing off plans to sell your photographs to advertisers. The popular website announced the policy shift Monday and instantly felt the backlash. But when it comes to on-line privacy, legal experts say post at your own risk.
Instagram is one of the most popular photo-sharing sites on-line.
"I like it because I get to edit my photos and share it with all my friends," said Wichita State Student Ashley Binder.
But when the website said it would start sharing your images for money without permission to advertisers, some users shot back.
"It worries me what others might see," Binder said.
"I think it's okay, because I mean anything is on the internet now," said Wichita State Student Angie Hobbs.
Instagram is changing the new policy.
But Facebook, who just bought Instagram, does allow the practice on so-called social ads if users allow it. Leaving some to wonder if any image will go very far.
"I think people need to be real careful with whatever they do on the internet," said Wichita Attorney Charlie O'Hara.
O'Hara has seen the impact social media has had in the courtroom and feels people should be aware of the risks.
"A picture that may seem like all of you having a good time may come back to haunt you," said O'Hara.
"When I put my pictures on Instagram, I think of just sharing with my friends," Binder said. "But now I'm thinking about the whole world seeing it."
If you want to see if your photos have been used elsewhere, you can do a reverse image search on-line. For example on Google, just click on the images search on the top line. In the search box, you will see a camera icon. By clicking on that, you can upload an image and Google will look for it on-line. Other social-engine sites have similar search capabilities.