Facebook-owned Instagram reportedly is testing a new privacy setting that could lead to more targeted ads directed at consumers. The new privacy setting would enable Instagram to share users’ location history with Facebook.
According to TechCrunch, that “means your exact GPS coordinates collected by Instagram, even when you’re not using the app, would help Facebook to target you with ads and recommend you relevant content.” Neither Facebook nor Instagram would confirm the report but TechCrunch said it based its report on a tip from a source who’s previously been on the money about other such changes.
Users could find data about their location in the activity log of their Facebook profiles, the report said. “This commingling of data could upset users who want to limit Facebook’s surveillance of their lives,” the report added, noting that Facebook was hit with a $122 million fine in 2017 from European officials for breaking a promise that it would not commingle WhatsApp and Facebook data.”
The news of this possible change in privacy setting comes as Instagram steps up its efforts to bring commerce onto its social media network. The platform recently rolled out features that include a new shopping channel within its “Explore” tab, where consumers can see posts from brands they currently follow, as well as other recommended brands.
The social media platform is also expanding shopping options within its Stories feature.
Facebook, meanwhile, is dealing with more questions and concerns about security and data. It faces a $1.63 billion fine from European regulators after the company announced on Friday (Sept 28) it had suffered a Facebook data breach that compromised the accounts of more than 50 million users. Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), companies that fail to safeguard their users’ data could face a maximum fine of €20 million ($23 million), or 4 percent of a firm’s global annual revenue for the prior year, whichever is higher.