updated 05:30 pm EST, Mon December 24, 2012
California-filed suit claims breach of contract, privacy violations
A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco Federal Court on Friday, the first civil lawsuit prompted by the flip-flop in Instagram's terms of service over the last week. A California Instagram user is accusing the photo repository of breach of contract along several other claims relating to privacy and user data. Instagram has not commented on the suit.
Following the poorly received change in the terms of service publicized by Instagram last week, founder Kevin Systrom posted a retraction, removing the language that generated suspicion that it would be selling user photos without paying, or notifying the user in advance. It also introduced a mandatory arbitration clause, requiring users give up rights to participate in a class action lawsuit against the company.
The lawyers filing the suit believed that customers who do not agree with the newly revised terms are allowed to cancel accounts, but then forfeit rights to photos stored on the service. The lawsuit claims that "In short, Instagram declares that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don't like it, you can't stop us.'"