There are fears; genuinely too that Instagram could soon start sharing your location history with its parent company Facebook. The worrisome story if true according to TechCrunch, could send shivers down the spine of millions of Instagram users who would now be anxious to know how safe their data is with the picture-sharing app.
This piece of information is coming barely a week after Instagram’s co-founders resigned from the company as a result of meddling from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The feature, which is still being tested, according to TechCrunch, is a setting that will require you to opt-in.
What that means is that your precise GPS coordinates will be collected by Instagram and shared with its parent company Facebook. This could even happen when you are not using the app. The purpose of sharing this with Facebook, according to the report, will enable the social media behemoth [Facebook] to serve you with targeted ads and recommend you relevant content.
TechCrunch’s Josh Constine adds that geo-targeted data will appear to users in their Facebook Profile’s Activity Log. The implication of this is that maps of places you have been to will be known by Facebook.
The effect of such move is easily predictable, and could further cast Facebook in bad light especially when you consider the recent crisis the company had with the Cambridge Analytical data.
When asked to confirm if Facebook was actually testing the feature, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch that: “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.”
Actually the aforementioned statement did not in anyway deny a test is being carried out, which further puts some measures of credibility to the story. More so, the fact that reputable app researcher Jane Manchun Wong who has a proven track record in terms of calling most of these stories before they are actually confirmed posted the story on her Twitter page.
In 2016, WhatsApp announced that it would begin sharing data and user phone number with Facebook. Users could however, decide to opt out of this option if they choose to. That announcement angered millions of people including privacy watchdogs who threatened to sanction Facebook over the decision.
Last April, Facebook admitted to scanning the content of messages you send and receive on Messenger. Mr. Zuckerberg said his company does doing to block any content that violates its policies.
Fresh from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mr. Zuckerberg admitted that the social media giant checks conversation, images and links using automated systems. The social media giant takes a step further by allowing moderators read your conversations manually if it violates it community guidelines.