Facebook's new privacy policy to allow data sharing with Instagram

By Danny Palmer
22 Nov 2012 View Comments
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Facebook plans to combine data of its users with those of Instagram, the photo-sharing service it acquired for $715m (£450m) last month, according to its just-released, updated privacy policy.

The social media company wants to share data with Instagram and other Facebook-owned affiliates in order to "improve our own services and their own services", states the revamped policy.

Further reading

The new policy will also enable affiliates to share information with Facebook, and will allow the social media website to include any other affiliates it acquires in future. 

It could be the first stage in allowing Facebook to create unified profiles for users that take personal information from Instagram – and other Facebook acquisitions in the future – and combines them with information individuals post to their Facebook profiles.

The changes to the company's data-use policy are similar to the sweeping changes that Google made to its privacy policy earlier this year.

Google said that it would combine users' personal information from all of its services, including Gmail, its search engine and Google+, in order to improve services. The move was slammed by privacy campaigners and EU data protection commissioners, who said that the privacy changes breached European privacy laws.

It is therefore entirely possible that Facebook could also face closer scrutiny over its privacy policies, as the social networking company looks to combine its various sources of user data.

There are also concerns that Facebook's new policy on messaging could result in users receiving spam, as the company is reducing users' control over who can contact them. However, Facebook said it would be replacing the previous system with new filters, although it has given no further details. 

The changes to Facebook's privacy policy came one month after the company announced that it would be putting old photos and videos into "cold storage". The social network recently passed the landmark figure of one billion users.

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