In the aftermath of Cambridge Analytica, Delete Facebook is doing rounds on the internet; there is an increase in awareness levels with users of these social networks seeking support to have better control on their data.
While Facebook houses a feature that lets a user download profile data from the platform and shut the account, Instagram traps a user’s data within the platform, leaving them at the mercy of Instagram’s policy decisions.
At this point in time, there is no official way to download your data from Instagram other than the third party tools, which again opens up security vulnerabilities, since a user will have to use unofficial tools to download their data from Instagram giving such apps unrestricted access.
Techcrunch’s Josh Constine, raised the concern of lack of data portability, and recently, a spokesperson of Instagram informed – “We are building a new data portability tool. You’ll soon be able to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Instagram, including your photos, videos, and messages.”
If this feature gets rolled out before May 25th it will help Instagram to comply with upcoming European GDPR privacy law that requires data portability.
Though, no official comment has been made, users are keen on getting more clarity on the download feature. Whether a user can download photos, videos & messages in the manner they uploaded it or it will be compressed, or will one be allowed to download follower lists, likes, comments, captions and more?
The new feature will make third party apps like InstaPort obsolete as the core of the business lies in helping users download a copy of data on Instagram. It would be interesting to find what the effect of this feature has in store.
Separately on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions from U.S. lawmakers about data privacy in the wake of revelations last month that several millions of Facebook users’ personal data was wrongly harvested from the platform by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.
Instagram has now started rolling out the download information feature, available to the users in data privacy settings. Users will be allowed to download photos, videos, archived Stories, profile, info, comments, and non-ephemeral messages. The accuracy and the speed of the feature are yet to be determined, and the entire download could take a couple of hours.
The feature is currently accessible to the web version and will roll out across iOS and Android platforms soon. The updates comes close on the heels of the demand that Instagram comply the data portability rule in European Union’s GDPR privacy law that will be effective from May 25.
In a recent update, WhatsApp too announced that they shall enable data download for users globally soon. Users will be able to download account information which includes profile picture, group names; messages however shall not be downloadable as some phone don’t have the specs to back them up. Additionally, the minimum to use WhatsApp in Europe has been upped from 13 to 16.
WhatsApp also established that it doesn’t share any data with Facebook, except anti-spam and block data to police negative characters across platforms.