Instagram’s new Data Policy – And why I deleted the Instagram app yesterday

Instagram’s new Data Policy – And why I deleted the Instagram app yesterday

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Instagram has introduced a new Terms of Service policy effective December 20, 2020.

First, they’ve introduced new restrictions on business and promotional content. For many of us this does not mean much. But one new rule could have some issues:

You can’t use a domain name or URL in your username without our prior written consent.

My Instagram ID is coldstreams. I previously owned a US registered trademark on that name. Since that business is no longer functioning, I let the trademark expire. However, that ID is also my domain name at

Many people – including many celebrities – have used their own name as their IG name and as their web site URL. Are these names now prohibited as IG names?

IG claims a right to globally re-use your content in anyway they wish.

When you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings).

Within the new Terms of Service policy is a link to their Data Policy for Instagram, Facebook and other services provided by FB.

Instagram reads your email and direct messages:

We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others

They analyze any photos you take using the camera function of your device, when operated through one of the IG/FB applications:

It can also include what you see through features we provide, such as our camera, so we can do things like suggest masks and filters that you might like, or give you tips on using camera formats. Our systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyze context and what’s in them for the purposes described below.

AI-based machine learning may be used to determine the content of your photos – think of it as being similar to having an IG employee looking at every photo you take – in fact, anything your camera sees whether you take a photo or not – and jotting down notes about that.

IG/FB collect your address book and your SMS call history (this is why IG/FB want you to give them your phone number – the phone number is the magic glue that links your IG/FB profile to other external databases)

We collect information about the people, Pages, accounts, hashtags and groups you are connected to and how you interact with them across our Products, such as people you communicate with the most or groups you are part of. We also collect contact information if you choose to upload, sync or import it from a device (such as an address book or call log or SMS log history), which we use for things like helping you and others find people you may know and for the other purposes listed below

Facebook/IG log every single keystroke you make.

We collect information about how you use our Products, such as the types of content you view or engage with; the features you use; the actions you take; the people or accounts you interact with; and the time, frequency and duration of your activities. For example, we log when you’re using and have last used our Products, and what posts, videos and other content you view on our Products. We also collect information about how you use features like our camera.

Facebook collects data about your credit card purchases – they can presumably use this to learn your credit history and more:

This includes payment information, such as your credit or debit card number and other card information; other account and authentication information; and billing, shipping and contact details.

Remember, once you give IG your phone number, they may use it to cross link your IG/FB activity, other online activity with your offline activities. IG/FB literally documents everything you do online AND OFFLINE.

Facebook and Instagram log everything about your “device” including OS, hardware, even how much disk space you have – and your mouse movements. They also log unique device IDs used by games and apps “or accounts you use”. They log any local Bluetooth devices and all Wi-Fi access points your device is near and ” information about other devices that are nearby or on your network”. Thus Facebook knows I have a Roku device, for example.

Information we obtain from these devices includes:

  • Device attributes: information such as the operating system, hardware and software versions, battery level, signal strength, available storage space, browser type, app and file names and types, and plugins.

  • Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots).

  • Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).

  • Device signals: Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.

  • Data from device settings: information you allow us to receive through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos.

  • Network and connections: information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, mobile phone number, IP address, connection speed and, in some cases, information about other devices that are nearby or on your network, so we can do things like help you stream a video from your phone to your TV.

  • Cookie data: data from cookies stored on your device, including cookie IDs and settings. Learn more about how we use cookies in the Facebook Cookies Policy and Instagram Cookies Policy.

Facebook also gains access to data provided by third parties.


These partners provide information about your activities off Facebook—including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, the ads you see, and how you use their services—whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook. For example, a game developer could use our API to tell us what games you play, or a business could tell us about a purchase you made in its store.

When you use a FB login or share button on a third party site, this links that site to Facebook:

When you choose to use third-party apps, websites, or other services that use, or are integrated with, our Products, they can receive information about what you post or share. For example, when you play a game with your Facebook friends or use a Facebook Comment or Share button on a website, the game developer or website can receive information about your activities in the game or receive a comment or link that you share from the website on Facebook. Also, when you download or use such third-party services, they can access your public profile on Facebook, and any information that you share with them. Apps and websites you use may receive your list of Facebook friends if you choose to share it with them

Facebook and Instagram have nothing to do with their stated mission goal of helping you keep in touch with the people who are important to you. Their sole purpose is surveillance for the purpose of advertising – which in turn is a direct link to propaganda messaging (advertising is a form of propaganda).

Last night I deleted the Instagram application off of my Android tablet. I had deleted the FB app years ago and had continued to use the IG app only on my non-cellular/Wi-Fi only connected Android tablet. However, after reading their new policies, I have deleted the IG app. Any access to Facebook properties is now restricted to browser access with auto deletion of all cookie files, frequently.


Facebook (and also IG) have incredibly powerful methods of determining your interests.

  • Likes
  • Group memberships

“Likes” are the secret sauce of all social media platforms. When you click “Like”, the platform gradually determines your interests – even your political leanings. “Likes” trick you into revealing information about yourself. You think you are being nice to “Like” a post from a friend but in reality, it is a trick to gather detailed information about your.

Through “Likes” and machine learning based analysis, social media platforms trick you into revealing many aspects of your life and thoughts – and then codify that into a database dossier all about you. This is incredibly intrusive spying and surveillance conducted through trickery.

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