Instagram has said that it will soon allow users to download all the data they share on the platform, a spokesperson told TechCrunch. The announcement comes when Instagram’s parent Facebook is caught in the middle of big data scandal, on its primary social media network.
With this, users will be able to download photos, videos, texts and other information they have shared on Instagram. TechCrunch quoted an email from the spokesperson, “We are building a new data portability tool.”
Instagram does not have an option to save or copy the images posted on one’s own profile, for its nearly 800 million users worldwide. The feature has been available on Facebook since 2010, using which users can export a zip file of all their status updates, photos, profile info, messages, friend lists and other information from the platform.
In an article, Techcrunch had also argued that Instagram traps users’ data without a Download your information tool. “That lack of data portability puts users at the mercy of Instagram’s product and policy decisions,” wrote Josh Constine.
The new tool may aid Instagram to comply with the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposes requirements on how user data is collected, and how user data must be deleted at the user’s request. GDPR also mandates data portability which in theory should allow a user to port all their data to another platform if they wish to do so.
Amid this, we have also learnt that users’ data on Facebook may not be controlled by the users, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg has claimed. Even if you have never signed up for Facebook you are part of someone’s phone contact list who probably is. All this information is collected by Facebook and they don’t discard your contact even if they know you aren’t on board. Similarly, when users sync their email account or phone messages with Facebook, data on other non-users is picked up.
Now, while Facebook says you can export and delete all your data from the platform, it is unclear what happens when Facebook collects and stores data that you haven’t shared with it.
Further, data privacy concerns mound as Facebook owns three large social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp—which reportedly share data with one-another. Recently, there were reports saying WhatsApp may be sharing users’ payment information with Facebook. This was after a French court already directed the messaging service to stop sharing French user. Facebook also acknowledged sharing data with Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.