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 or better connect with
the internet. Yet 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………………….), the apps popular use today might come in the
form of taking a picture of food, but it5 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 possible ethical and
social issues, people 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 emerging information and communication
technologies (ICTs)……………… Finally, in conclusion, this report will recommend
how Instagram could be made more privacy friendly for the future.

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2.  Ethical 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 while 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.

Policy change

On December 17, 2012, Instagram
announced several changes to its Terms of Service. The new Terms of Service
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. Instagram also proposed that the parents of minors
implicitly consent to 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

(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, as Fiesler and Bruckman said “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). As a result, a
few days later, Instagram again revised the Terms of Service announcing that it
would withdraw some of the proposed changes. Instagram backed off a plan to use
the names, images, and photos of users for advertising purposes by deleting
language about displaying photos without compensation.

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