Information for Law Enforcement

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. These pictures are shared on Instagram and can be easily uploaded to other social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

You can find more information in our Press Center and Help Center.

Requests for User Information

We disclose account records solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law, including the federal Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), 18 U.S.C. Sections 2701-2712. Under the SCA:

  • a valid subpoena issued in connection with an official criminal investigation is required to compel the disclosure of basic subscriber records (defined in 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(c)(2)), which may include: subscriber name, phone number, account creation date, email address, and a signup IP address, if available.
  • a court order issued under 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(d) is required to compel the disclosure of certain records or other information pertaining to the account, not including contents of communications, which may include photographs, photo captions, and other electronic communication information in addition to the basic subscriber records identified above.
  • a search warrant issued under the procedures described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or equivalent State warrant procedures upon a showing of probable cause is required to compel the disclosure of the stored contents of any account, which may include messages, photos, comments, and location information.

It is important to note that some information we store is collected automatically, while other information is provided by the user, and that we do not require email or identity verification. If a user has created a fake or anonymous profile, our information may not be authentic. We are unable to process overly broad or vague requests.

For reference, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Data Retention and Availability

We retain different types of information for different time periods. Given the volume of real-time content on Instagram, some information may only be stored for a short period of time. We do not retain data for law enforcement purposes unless we receive a valid preservation request. Preservation requests must include the username of the Instagram account in question, a valid return email address, and must be signed and sent on law enforcement letterhead.

Information to Include

All requests must identify the following:

  1. The name of the issuing authority, badge/ID number of responsible agent, email address from a law enforcement domain, and a direct contact phone number.
  2. The username of the Instagram account in question and details regarding specific information requested and its relationship to your investigation.
  3. If you have access to an image's short URL, you can locate the username here:

  4. If you have access to the Instagram application, you can locate the username here:

Emergency Requests

Matters involving anticipated harm to a child or risk of death or serious physical injury to any person that requires disclosure of information without delay should contact us at

It is important to note that we will not review or respond to messages sent to this email address by non-law enforcement officials. If you are a user aware of an emergency situation, you should immediately and directly contact local law enforcement officials.

Contact Information

Law enforcement officers may submit all records requests by email or mail.

Only email from law enforcement domains will be accepted. All others will be disregarded. Non-law enforcement requests should be sent through our regular support methods via Instagram's Help Center.



Attn: Instagram Law Enforcement Response Team
1601 Willow Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025