The photo sharing service Instagram has apparently asserted its right to sell its users' photos.
In an update to its terms of service, the Facebook-owned site appeared to claim the right to resell images posted to its servers.
Unless users delete their accounts by January, they will not be able to opt out of the policy.
Under the new terms, Instagram would be able to:
- Share information about its users with Facebook, advertisers and other companies
- Use your photos and likeness for advertisements without your knowledge - including underage users
- Use your photos for ads which are not labelled ads
The company claimed that "nothing has changed about your photos' ownership or who can see them".
It also argued the new terms would "help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow".
But the changes were still met with an immediate outcry online, with many users claiming they would delete their accounts in protest.
The relevant passage of Instagram's terms of service reads:
"Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.
"If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf."
Users who wish to delete their accounts should first download any photos hosted at the service.