Your Private Instagrams Weren't Actually Private


Private's what you'll now see when you try to view photos from a private Instagram account

Countless private Instagram photos may have been exposed publicly on the web until the company patched a privacy hole this weekend.


Before the fix, if your Instagram account is set to private, but you cross posted links to your Instagram photos on other social media platforms, those photos would have been publically viewable to people who clicked the hard link to your photo.

Instagram fixed the loophole after David Yanofsky at Quartz reached out to the platform about the issue and it appears to now be rectified.

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Privacy is a sensitive issue for Facebook, Instagram's parent company. The social network has been repeatedly criticized for its complex and overly-confusing privacy controls.

The company even agreed to have its privacy practices audited for two decades after settling a lawsuit in 2012 with the Federal Trade Commission which charged it with deceiving consumers.


"The settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including by giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining their express consent before sharing their information beyond their privacy settings," the FTC wrote in the settlement. 

The Instagram privacy hole was not explicitly communicated anywhere in the company's support documents and it's unlikely that most normal users would have been aware of the issue.

For more information on whether or not your photos may have been exposed head on over to Quartz.