Popular Facebook-owned photo sharing app, Instagram, recently changed its Terms of Service, spurring outrage from users, account cancellations from entities like National Geographic (with its 638,000 followers), and now a class action lawsuit.
According to CNN and Reuters, the original changes in Instagram’s Terms of Service made it so photos, even if defined by the user as private, could still be used in advertisements. Many users worried their photos could even be sold by Instagram without compensation, but Kevin Systrom, Instagram founder and CEO recanted the unclear language about use without compensation. He said that was never the intention of the language initially, and promised the company will aim to be clearer in the future.
The original changes also included a clause mandating arbitration outside of very narrow circumstances, which remained in the final iteration of the new terms that will go into effect in mid-January, 2013.
Although Facebook spokesman, Andrew Noyes believes there is no merit to the suit, he told Reuters they will “fight it vigorously.”
The civil suit, filed Finkelstein & Krinsk, in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Lucy Funes, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Instagram Inc., 12-cv-6482.