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Private Instagram Photos Are Public
By: Jessica Cherok
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For a while, at least, some of your private Instagram photos were not so private. The image-sharing site recently fixed a bug that allowed users’ private photos to be seen publicly.

For users who previously had public accounts, some of their photos remained public even after the account was switched to private. The glitch wasn’t exclusive to Instagram. Photos shared by Instagram with other social sites could also be seen by searching for the photos’ URLs.

The pictures aren’t easy to find, despite being public. In order to see the affected pictures, you would need to have the picture’s specific URL. Even then, it would need to be in instances where the picture was shared outside of Instagram. For photos shared publically on Instagram, then switched to private, they cannot be seen on the site.

Of the flaw and fix, Instagram said “In response to feedback, we made an update so that if people change their profile from public to private, web links that are not shared on other services are only viewable to their followers on Instagram.”

For the exposed photos, the only way to remove them from sites they’ve been shared on is to delete the photo entirely from Instagram.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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