1. form of content such as taking a

1.  Introduction

Innovation and research in future
technologies can have great possible benefits for us but they can also raise
social and ethical privacy concerns. Emerging technologies have always drawn a
very fine line boundary between what we class as our humanity and privacy.
These forms of technologies that push these boundaries come in the form of either
wearable devices or platforms to enhance themselves or better connect with the
internet. The main focus of this report will be on the Internet-based
photo-sharing application Instagram. An app based service that lets registered
users upload photos or videos to a platform page. Since its launch in October
2010, it has attracted more than 150 million active users, with an average of
55 million photos uploaded by users per day, and more than 16 billion photos
shared (Hu et al, 2014………………….).

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The apps popular use today might come
in the form of content such as taking a picture of food, taking a video showing
friends and family or even live streams b it has undergone a transformation in its
history since it started that has provided both benefits and controversies for
the user. In order to realistically understand and address the possible ethical
and social issues, we need to have an understanding of what such privacy issues
might be. This report will begin by clarifying its concepts of emerging
technologies and principles of investigating the ethical consequences. It will
explore the privacy and ethical issues related to the field of the emerging
information and communication technology (ICTs) that is the platform Instagram ………………
Finally, in conclusion, this report will recommend how Instagram could be made
more privacy friendly for the future.

 

 

2.  Ethical Privacy Issues

Social
networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become the
established normality for communication and maintaining relationships. While
these websites are useful tools for exchanging information, Ethical
implications still gnaw at the users of this ICT.  Instagram in particular focuses more on
attention to details in its picture contents and ties this in with human
emotion, examples include the introduction to hearts to like a picture or when
someone on the app has posted a picture in a long time it will notify other
followers. As Waterloo explains “Many social media platforms encourage
emotional self-expression, inviting users to regularly update on their
thoughts, feelings, and experiences to their larger network” (Waterloo et al,
2017, p.3). This activity on the platform is all to generate revenue for the
company through advertising that gets collected through big data on what you’ve
liked in the past, but more on that later.

 

As with most emerging technologies and
social media platforms, Instagram has its share of controversies that has
helped shape what the app is today. The breaching privacy topics mentioned in
this section will be the terms of service policy change, Allegations of
censorship and contact information hacking. These are a few implications that
will be mentioned throughout this section, just to point out that Instagram is
but one example of how different issues can have different meanings for
different technologies or in different application scenarios. However, there
are many similarities and there is important overlap between these technologies.
This section therefore offers a brief outline of the main themes and some of
the key sub-themes of this report.

2.1      
Policy changes without
users consent

On December 17, 2012, Instagram had announced
several tweaks to its terms and conditions. The new terms and conditions
suggested Instagram would be allowed to use pictures in advertisements without
notifying or compensating users, and would be able to disclose user data to
Facebook and to advertisers. As quoted through Smith’s Copyright in the Mobile Media Era Instagram’s terms were changed as
followed “To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or
promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display
your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or
actions you take in compensation with paid or sponsored content or promotions,
without any compensation to you.” (Smith, 2012, p.3) Instagram’s policy change
also proposed that the parents of minors implicitly consented the use of their
children’s’ images for advertising purposes. Fiesler and Bruckman point out that “This situation served as
a reminder that those sharing creative works online may not always be aware of
how their work can be used.” (Fiesler
& Bruckman, 2014, p.2552). This caused a big outcry for the company and made other
social media platforms such as Facebook look very untrustworthy, yet on the
contrary people only started to only realise the policy changes when it became
frontpage news.

(Taken from the BBC news website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20810344)

This prompted the question that Instagram
could change the legal binding conditions at any time without the knowledge of
the user, evident by the lack of a boycott as it saw the platform with no noticeable
drop in active users, meaning the very privacy of the user could be compromised
at any time. Fiesler and Bruckman make clear “Considering that reading
only the privacy policy of every site visited would take the average Internet
user over 200 hours per year, it is not surprising that many do not take the
time to read often complicated terms, conditions, and policies” (Fiesler & Bruckman, 2014, p.2552). In conclusion
to this, a few days later, Instagram again revised the terms and conditions
announcing that it would withdraw some of the proposed changes. Instagram scraped
off the plan to use the names, images, and photos of users for advertising
purposes by deleting language about displaying photos without compensation.
Showing that the change was only brought on when users found out.

 

2.2      
Misuse of censorship

As this report has already
established, Instagram’s platform style is a great way for people to express
themselves and share their experiences through pictures, videos and live
streaming. However, the company has been the subject of criticism, most notably
for allegations of censorship. Censorship as we may well know has massive
ethical and societal implications. It effects the privacy of the user as part
of a collective in a group that would otherwise be encroached via third party
means. As explained by Cohen “one can look to the major strands of First
Amendment theory and find support for the notion that one should be able to
cultivate one’s intellectual proclivities within a zone of privacy.” (Cohen,
1997, p.697).

 

A notable case of censorship of privacy
on Instagram happened on October 2013, when Instagram deleted the account of a Canadian
artist, photographer and fashion model Petra Collins, after she posted a photograph
of herself in which a very small area of pubic hair was exposed above the top
of her bikini bottom. She later wrote in her Huffington post blog “I did nothing
that violated the terms of use. No nudity, violence, pornography, unlawful,
hateful or infringing imagery. What I did have was an image of MY body that
didn’t meet society’s standard of “femininity.”” (Collins, 2013). Collins felt
that Instagram intruded on her privacy to post what she thought was a non-infringing
picture that did not violate the terms and conditions instream that are as followed
“photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual
intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes
some photos of female nipples” (Instagram, 2018). The manner that the company
handled her case was closed and the photo remains deleted.

 

In conclusion to this section Instagram
ultimately misused their power to censor Collin’s content as sexual because of societies
image of how women ‘should be’. Cohen explains again content such this example
should be judged individually in the circumstance “It seems
strange that all the fuss about censorship of Internet speech is focused on
things like pornography when the scope of intellectual property protection may
have such enormous effect on the information each of us sees, and on the
circumstances under which we see it.” (Cohen, 1997, p.701).

2.3      
Algorithmic Advertisements

Instagram begin selling advertising in
September 2014 as a way to generate more business and revenue for the company. After
this change users of the social networking platform would find an advertisement
directed at them while scrolling through their feed for a product they might be
interested in purchasing, this is done through an algorithmic program in the
platform. The process of knowing this technique isn’t new companies as Caudill
& Murphy explain before the internet shopping became popular “They inspectors
watched while buyers pick out strawberries and noted the process parents go
through to choose a box of cereal. 
Consumers do not appear concerned about this invasion of privacy; after
all, they are in a public place” (Caudill & Murphy, 2000, p.7).

 

They further elaborate on this topic that
consumers felt comfortable though monitored, had their anonymity intact because
they had a choice pay via cash for a product that they wanted. This anonymity unfortunately
changes when consumers move onto the Internet. No longer are their shopping behaviours
available only in the aggregate. Instead, individuals are tracked, and
information is collected in to big data through machine learning which is then
put in to algorithmic advertisement from purchasing transactions as they surf
through websites (Caudill & Murphy, 2000).