How to keep Instagram from scraping your data

Facebook has been the subject of a lot of criticism recently due to the Cambridge Analytica revelation and subsequently the Android call scraping situation. It doesn't matter that we chose to allow Facebook to collect this data, the average social media user doesn't totally understand what all of this means and it's natural to want to trust a company to protect our privacy first and foremost, especially when it's written in said company's terms and conditions.

What have we learned? Trust no one. That includes other companies that have a lot of access to your personal data, like your family photos and where you were when you took those photos. The convenience of location-based metadata for photos is great for you and me, but can also be used by those same companies that betrayed our trust, especially when those same companies own some of the other social media services we love, like Instagram.

Halide has announced it will soon add an option that automatically removes location data from photos when posting them to Facebook or Instagram (but allows you to keep location data in place for the original photo).

In a future update to Halide, we're removing location data from photos you share to Facebook or Instagram. We haven't decided yet if this will be opt-in or opt-out, but you'll be able to change this in Settings (and feel free to let us know your preference!).

This is a smart step in the right direction to allow us to choose how much personal information we share, not just with friends and family, but with those strangers with whom our most precious moments are being "tested" or "surveyed" for research and development.

Things you can do to prevent data scraping on Instagram


Instagram on iPhone X (Image credit: iMore)

Halide recommends a few important things you can do to limit how much information Instagram is gleaning from you and we completely agree.

How to disable location tagging on all of the photos you take

You can remove any geotagging entirely from all pictures that you take by disabling geotagging in the built-in camera app on your iPhone.

This will remove all of the location-based metadata completely.

How to disable geotagging in the Camera app on iPhone and iPad

How to disable Location Tracking on Instagram

If you don't want Instagram to broadcast where ever you are when you're posting photos (and sharing that location information with data collection agencies), you can keep your location private.

How to disable Location Services on iPhone and iPad

How to stop Instagram from accessing your Photo library

  1. Launch Settings from your iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap on Instagram in the Apps section.

  1. Tap Photos.
  2. Tap Never.

This will revoke Instagram's access to your entire photo library. Instead, you can grab pictures individually from your Photos app using the Share icon in the App Extensions feature in Instagram.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Select a photo.
  3. Tap the Share button.
  4. Select Instagram.

  1. Enter a caption.
  2. Tap Share in the upper right corner.

How to limit Ad Tracking so companies have a harder time creating ad profiles about you

In addition to revoking Instagram's access to your photo library and removing location-based data from your photos, Halide recommends putting restrictions on how third-party apps can build an advertising profile about you. It's called "Limit Ad Tracking" and it will block some advertisers from being able to track you (but not all).

How to turn on Limit Ad Tracking on iPhone and iPad

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).