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admin2 On December - 28 - 2012

Instagram set off quite a furor with their apparent move to appropriate and sell their users’ photos. They have since released a statement that they have no plans to sell the photos, just to use information about the users to target advertising.

Still, the furor was surprising considering that the entire purpose of Instagram and Facebook for that matter is to share everything you upload. Instead of becoming alarmed at Instagram’s possible appropriate of photos, people should have taken a step back to consider exactly how public they have made their private lives.

Parents are proud of their children unquestionably, and they want to share the joys and tribulations of parenting. But are they considering the ramifications of publishing everything that they do publish? Are they considering how the posts about bedwetting or photos of their naked babies could possibly be fodder for future bullies or business rivals their children have to face?

People also don’t consider how the private information they post can be used against them. They include their names, their children’s names, their children’s schools, their holiday schedules, their occupations, their places of work. Total strangers with bad intentions can use these clues to piece together a plan to steal your identity, to rob your home, to scam you and worse.

Why do we publish our most private photos and thoughts and anecdotes in a medium that can never be erased, never be truly isolated? Hopefully the Instagram incident will make people think twice about the value of privacy.

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