Instagram remains one of the most popular image-centric social network today and perhaps the only Facebook property (aside from Oculus) that has remained largely untouched by privacy scandals. Its association to Facebook and its popularity, however, also makes it a prime target for less conscientious people who’d love to pilfer users’ private information at every opportunity. Despite that imminent danger, it is only today that Instagram is rolling out a very basic switch to let users disconnect their app from any app they may have authorized in the past.
It’s no Facebook but there are quite a few third-party apps and services that connect to whatever limited API Instagram may offer. These range from services the can print out posts to apps that let you use Direct messaging on your desktop. These third-parties will naturally require access to some of your account information but not all of them may do what they claim to do, much less protect your information.
In the past, once you’ve granted an app or service access to your account info, that was pretty much it. Today, Instagram is starting to roll out a button that lets you remove an app’s access to that data. Of course, that also means Instagram will now actually let you see what apps and services are connected to your account.
Instagram is also changing the way connections are made and presented to users. Now users will be informed what pieces of information they will be giving those apps and services in agreeing to connect to them.
These are all-or-nothing switches and it would be great if Instagram could offer more fine-grained access and control. This would allow apps and users to limit data access to the bare minimum required for the service to function. That said, even this change is monumental and worlds better than what Instagram preciously had, which was nothing.