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In 2 Minutes: Instagram Analytics for the Private and Paranoid

In 2 Minutes: Instagram Analytics for the Private and Paranoid

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Did you know that based on your geotags, almost anyone can figure out where you live?

From your profile’s location page (3rd logo from the left), zoom in on the locations from which you post most often. Cross-reference them with the content of those posts. That’s it. Naturally, your morning selfies are clustered around a particular spot on the map.

With Instagram Insights and Business Profiles now in beta and set to launch anytime, the platform will soon cash in on data analytics to push products to specific demographics.

For a feature perceived as generally harmless—a tool to legitimise visits to trendy spots or to show followers how to get there—those who get anxious about data protection might want to sit up. Everything, from your gender to where you’ve been, will now be collected and used to stalk your lifestyle.

In case it isn’t yet apparent, this is less an issue of annoying but uncannily precise advertising than it is of feeling like you’re being watched all the time.

Here’s what you can do:

Open your location page. Click on Edit on the top-right corner. Select any “stack” of pictures; this should bring up the option to Edit or Zoom. Select Edit, select Deselect All, and press Done. Do this until all the “stacks” on the map have been cleared of their geotags.

Next, switch off your location services, or custom-tweak them to work only for specific apps. There are even apps that can scrub the metadata off the images you store. Finally, switch your gender in your profile to Unspecified.

At this point, we’re not sure if clearing your search history might even help. What’s clear is that making your account private is no longer enough.

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