Ask Engadget: Is Instagram creeping on my kid?

Are my social media settings strict enough to protect my children's privacy?

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The support shared among readers in the comments section is one of the things we love most about the Engadget community. Over the years, we've known you to offer sage advice on everything from Chromecasts and cameras to drones and smartphones. In fact, our community's knowledge and insights are a reason why many of you participate in the comments.

We truly value the time and detail you all spend in responding to questions from your fellow tech-obsessed commenters, which is why we've decided to bring back the much-missed "Ask Engadget" column. This week's question comes to us from a parent concerned about what their social media accounts are sharing. Weigh in with your advice in the comments -- and feel free to send your own questions along to!

I took all my kid's photos off of Facebook but I still share plenty of them (privately) on Instagram. Is that a totally stupid distinction to make, since Instagram is owned by Facebook and my accounts are still connected? Are they doing facial recognition on my Instagram photos?

Edgar Alvarez

Edgar Alvarez
Senior Editor

That's a great question. And it's funny you ask that now because earlier this month, Facebook announced that it will start using its artificial intelligence tech to identify billions of images on Instagram, including food and other items.

As far as we know, the company isn't using facial recognition on Instagram yet, like it is on Facebook, but there's nothing keeping it from doing so in the future. That said, on Facebook you do have the option to turn that feature off, so we'd expect you to have that option on Instagram, too. Right now you don't have anything to worry about, especially since you mentioned you keep your kid's photos private. Eventually, though, the Facebook machine may be hard to escape.

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