facebook and instagram

Facebook is Now Using Instagram to Track Your Location

map-location-pin

As you’re well aware, Instagram founders made an abrupt exit from Facebook.  The rumors are that they weren’t always happy as being seen as one of Facebook’s apps.  In fact, they had always wanted to be a standalone platform.  Given everything that Facebook has gone through over the last year, there’s no wonder why they wanted to distance themselves in the first place.  What is being reported now is that at least one user has identified a setting that would allow Facebook to use Instagram in order to build up Location History data from a user’s phone.  Seriously?  After everything that’s happened, why is this still something that Facebook is considering?  I feel like they’re asking to get in trouble in some way.

Yes, Google does something similar with Maps using Android phones and Foursquare’s data business is built on this model.  But this feels a bit different.  Mostly because of everything that we’ve gone through with Facebook.  It’s not that they’re doing something far-fetched and crazy.  It’s because they’re doing something that just doesn’t really make any sense. Facebook commented to TechCrunch and indicated:

“To confirm, we haven’t introduced updates to our location settings. As you know, we often work on ideas that may evolve over time or ultimately not be tested or released. Instagram does not currently store Location History; we’ll keep people updated with any changes to our location settings in the future.”

That’s all fine and well, but how do we know that they’re telling the truth? The way that this setting is being described suggests that it would be in place for both Instagram and Messenger.  This would help Facebook accumulate data from people who might not regularly use or install the main app.  And that’s my big problem with this.  Just because I use Instagram doesn’t mean that Facebook has the right to all of my data.  I understand that Instagram is a Facebook app, but not in the same way that Messenger is.  One started from within the app, the other is a standalone app.  And that’s a big reason why the Instagram founders left the company.

It seems like Facebook is constantly reaching for our data. I’ve said this before, but even if I don’t use Facebook, but my friend does – and they connect their contact list to Facebook, my information and data is in their somehow.  And that’s not fair.  It’s not fair for the rest of the world who doesn’t want to have their information shared.  Maybe I sound like a toddler, but its these kinds of ideas that make me wonder if we should have some kind of regulation in order to prevent these situations.  Sure, if you want to sign up for Facebook and have your data exposed – that’s your right.  But if I don’t want that data shared with Mark Zuckerberg and his cronies, then I should have the ability to at leas to opt out of some of these features.  More importantly, Facebook needs to stop trying to steal everyone’s data.  Period.  End of story.  Full stop.