Friday 23 March 2018

David Darcy: Content yourself to know it's not your photos that Instagram's after

WHEN the poet Philip Larkin memorably wrote that "Sexual intercourse began in 1963 (which was rather late for me)" he was describing the effects on society of changes brought forth by a combination of rapid technological developments in communications and pharmacology, allied to a growing parity in financial and political clout between the sexes.

Old certainties had to be rethought, many people were reluctant to welcome the developments or confront the implications and, as always, the law struggled to adapt. A profession with a 200-year-old vocabulary and a 300-year-old dress code will always lag behind the rapid social changes caused by contemporary technological advancement.

The current controversy involving the photograph-sharing website Instagram and its customers, who are angry at proposed changes to the way the company intends to use their data, shows that nearly 50 years later we still find it difficult to accommodate the effects of technological change and our sense of rights and entitlements.

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