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Instagram traps data without a Download Your Information tool

Instagram traps data without a Download Your Information tool
From TechCrunch - April 10, 2018

Its hard to #DeleteFacebook with no viable alternative, but at least you can export all your data. Theres no such option on Instagram . That lack of data portability puts users at the mercy of Instagrams product and policy decisions. And it could even put users at risk as those who seek to back up their accounts and content are forced to use unofficial third-party apps that require their password.

Facebooklaunched its Download Your Information tool in 2010, six years after the social network launch. It lets you export a zip file of all your status updates, photos, profile info, messages, friend lists, and a whole lot more. The idea is that if you wanted to ditch Facebook, you could take your data with you and get set up on some other social network. The fact that you only get a list of your friends names by default, not their email addresses or another way to easily find them on different apps, limits that power. But at least you get all the content you created.

Soon to be eight years old, Instagram still lacks its own version of Download Your Information. When asked about this, an Instagram spokesperson merely said Instagram does not currently have a data portability tool.

Instagram doesnt even offer a way to download your photos or videos after you share them to its feed. Unlike most apps and websites, you cant just tap and hold on a photo to save it to your phone. The closest option is to use Instagrams share via email feature, which send a saveable version of an image. Otherwise you need to set Instagram to save images when you post them.

Third-party tools have cropped up to fill the gap, but their security and privacy practices can be questionable. Vibbi Instaport, Insta Saver, 4K Download, PicoDashare a few. These services typically require you to log in with your Instagram credentials, which puts your username and password at risk of leaking to hackers. Its also unclear what else could happen to your images once they export them. And the fact that some of these services like Instaport offer to sell you Instagram followers too shows how scammy they can be.Perhaps the best bet for users is this open sourced InstaLooter tool, but it requires some technical know-how to retrieve your photos and videos.

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