The lack of any notification is disturbing to Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “Most states have laws that limit the use of a person’s “name or likeness” for commercial purposes without consent,” Rotenberg said. “The legal purpose is to allow people to obtain the commercial value of their images and endorsements, which is a big issue for celebrities and others, but also a reasonable concern for Facebook users whose images are used by Facebook to encourage friends to buy products and services.”
The terms also stated that underage users of Instagram are also essentially agreeing to the same rules and ads may not be labeled as such. “You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such,” the company wrote.
The outrage over the clause was immediate and pushed Instagram to announce that they are taking out the language saying user photos can be used in ads. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said the company is exploring other forms of advertising to make money.
“Our main goal is to avoid things likes advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience,” said Systrom.