Instagram Closes Privacy Loophole

Instagram Closes Privacy Loophole
Image source: Pixabay

Tech website Quartz discovered the flaw and got in touch with the photo-sharing site.

On the surface it would appear that Instagram’s privacy settings are very simple, with users able to choose between public and private. This apparent simplicity is in stark contrast with the more complicated web of settings available on parent company Facebook’s privacy page.

Available for all to see

However a flaw was discovered which allowed other users to see photos that you marked as private if they had once been available for public viewing. In other words if you shared links to a photo when your account was public, but later changed to a private account, publicly viewable images would still be displayed on those links.

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This loophole only functioned on the web, and not on the iOS or Android apps, before it was fixed on Friday.

Following the fix, the photos contained in those links can only be seen by followers. However if you share the photo on other social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook, at the same time, then anyone can see it. In that case the photo will always be publicly available unless you delete it.

Those photos which you only share to Instagram will now be limited to the audience specified by your privacy settings, which should always have been the case. Instagram has so far avoided controversy over its privacy policies, problems which have dogged owner Facebook.

Protecting Instagram users

It would be a real shame if Instagram started to suffer privacy issues at a time when it is about to make a big advertising push, and executives will be eager not to lose any users due to fixable bugs.

Quartz is reporting that Instagram declined to specify who game them the feedback which led to the update, or why they decided to carry out the update now. Perhaps Instagrame’s top-brass are remaining tight-lipped in order to minimize coverage of the problem.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]</i>

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