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    Smart Money: With Instagram, Facebook Gets ‘Holy Grail’ of Data

    Smart Money reports that social-networking service Facebook’s purchase of photo-sharing app Instagram could have implications for the privacy of users:

    Why did Facebook buy Instagram? Experts say it may be all about location, location, location… data.

    Snap a digital photo, and the file typically includes embedded information on where and when it was taken. Facebook says Instagram will remain a standalone app separate from the social networking site, but the acquisition could make it easier for marketers, advertisers and the apps and companies one “likes” to access that kind of photo information, says Deborah Mitchell, executive director for the Center of Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Marketers could be presented with whole new world of data, she says – almost “like when Dorothy goes from Kansas to Oz. They’re getting a much richer picture of you and what you’re interested in.” […]

    Consumers may be able to control some of the information shared — personal data can often be removed from image files, and privacy settings on Facebook and Instagram can keep some images less visable. But users should consider anything they post potential marketing fodder, says [Scott Steinberg, chief executive of business consulting firm TechSavvy].

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