Your Privacy and Changes to Instagram
February 9, 2018


New in Digital is a blog series dedicated to highlighting digital news from across the web and explaining what those developments mean for organizations in the public affairs environment.

Instagram phone

Since the beginning of social media, privacy has always been at the center of the conversation. What do you choose to share? How much is too much? The tech giants who run these platforms are always walking a fine line between pleasing their consumers and getting enough information for advertisers.

Facebook releases their privacy principles for the first time

For the first time, Facebook has revealed their privacy principles while also beefing up user control over who can access their information. Facebook plans to launch a Privacy Center, where users can control their privacy settings. On Facebook’s site, there are the seven principles laid out for users understand how their data is used. The principles were released in preparation for a new law in the European Union which is expected to be the “biggest overhaul of personal data privacy rules since the birth of the internet.”

Apple is now letting users keep medical records on their iPhones

Apple wants their devices to be one-stop shops for your digital life — including all of your health information. That’s why a test version of their iPhone health app contains a health record section. The aim is to let users download their health records, store them safely and show them to a doctor, caregiver or friend. Users will be able to transfer clinical data from their medical providers to their iPhones, “potentially streamlining how Americans gain access to some health information.” Apple is working with select hospitals and large medical groups to allow people to view that information. (A different tech titan also launched a foray into the health business recently, bringing the Amazon approach to how we buy health insurance.)

Of course, privacy is a concern with this sensitive information. The data isn’t supposed to touch Apple’s servers, and rather will move directly from the healthcare providers to your device. Apple also says the medical records will be encrypted. But what happens if your phone is lost or stolen? What happens to the data?

Instagram bringing carousel ads to Instagram Stories

Advertisers can now put up to three pieces of media per Stories ad, versus just one available when ads in Stories launched. This makes advertising stories seem more organic and more like content you might see from a friend. The hope is this provides a more natural advertising experience for users.

Privacy will always be a top concern for both consumers and technology companies, but as more of our lives become digital, users need to figure out how much they want exposed to their friends as well as to the advertisers who market to them.

Stay tuned for more New in Digital posts.