Instagram Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Related To Last Week’s Change Of Service Terms

Instagram just got a lump of coal in its stocking: a class action lawsuit, which was filed in response to its change of service terms last week. Reuters reports that a California Instagram user has leveled breach of contract and other claims against Instagram owner Facebook. In response, Facebook told Reuters “we believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”

Changes in Instagram’s policy privacy set off a controversy as users worried that their photos would be sold or used in ads without their permission or compensation. In response, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom changed the wording in the policy that had caused the furor which, at its peak, led to plenty of confusion among users. Last week, Drew Olanoff and Josh Constine discussed the ruckus and misunderstandings caused by Instagram and Facebook’s privacy policy and terms of service changes.

Although Instagram almost immediately changed some of the terms of service, it still kept language indicating “that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.” Instagram also kept wording that gives it the ability to place ads related to user content, as well as a new a new mandatory arbitration clause that means users waive their rights to participate in class action lawsuits under almost all circumstances (the lawsuit comes before the new TOS goes in effect on January 19).

The lawsuit filed by San Diego-based law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk alleges that even if users delete their Instagram account, they forfeit rights to photos they have already uploaded.

“In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us,'” the lawsuit says.