I’m a huge fan of If This, than That. I’ve tried out lots of different recipes over the years, many of which save me tons and tons of time and make my life better. A long long time ago I turned on a random recipe, forgot about it, then discovered I’d inadvertently violated a lot of peoples’ privacy. For clarity, this is not a security loophole, but it is troubling.
This is the recipe I had on: it pushes any photo you ‘like’ on instagram to other services. I was pushing it to my Tumblr, which I periodically forget I even have. The problem is that the IFTTT recipe pulls photos from private accounts too — something I totally didn’t expect. I have a lot of friends with private accounts, and I’m a bit disgusted with instagram (and myself) that private photos can be extracted and made public so damn easily.
So of course I’ve pulled down nearly all the photos I have ‘liked’ that were on my tumblr. I left a few up (from non-protected accounts) in case anyone cares to doubt me.
I feel even a little uneasy posting about this, but perhaps this will catch on enough to get Instagram’s attention. It’s not a Heartbleed level problem, but I’m positive people with private accounts do so on purpose, and by accident or not, do not want their photos on some jerk’s tumblr.