Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Instagram Security Flaw Allowed Marketing Firm Collect Users' Personal Data

Perzonseo Webbyra  Flickr Perzonseo Webbyra Flickr
Russell Knight | 11 August, 2019, 06:28

Francisco-based startup Hyp3r reportedly scraped public data such as users' locations, profile information, photos, and even stories (which are supposed to vanish after 24 hours).

The marketing firm has reportedly been scraping huge amounts of data to build up detailed records of users' movements, physical whereabouts, personal interests, and Instagram "stories", which are photos and videos that were meant to vanish after 24 hours of being posted.

"Hyp3r's actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies", an Instagram spokesperson said.

The same source explains that data scraping Hyp3r did was allowed on Instagram before.

Business Insider said Instagram's owner, Facebook, should have been more diligent about preventing data grabbing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

On Tuesday, identifying a case of fraud, social networking giant Facebook sued two app developers for click injection scam that infected smartphones with malware. Therefore, Instagram kicked off the Hyp3r platform and made some changes in its platform. Notably, Instagram only did something about this after Business Insider flagged the abuse.

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And in the second race, many boats - including Kate's - were disqualified for not going back and starting the race at the line. While a sporty Kate and William competed in the charity race, 6-year-old George watched from a nearby boat.

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In less complicated terms: Hyp3r is a marketing firm that tracks social-media posts tagged with real-world locations. Access to data from the Stories feature is not available through Instagram's API.

Instagram has since banned HYP3R from its platform, but not before the company was able to siphon out the personal data of millions for roughly a year, according to Business Insider. The Hyp3r and their advisors contact the Facebook staff for scheduling meetings with the social network.

We are living in a post internet era, and in this era people are starting to become increasingly aware of just how common it is for tech companies to take advantage of the wild abandon with which people tend to use the internet, as well as to use unscrupulous practices to acquire information that would allow them to market to you more efficiently.

Hyp3r is described as one of "preferred Facebook marketing partners".

If you are an Instagram user, you might not appreciate the piece of information you're about to receive. In order to secure that info, it appears the company was hoovering up Instagram user data, in violation of Instagram's rules. In fact, the company's CEO Carlos Garcia denied breaking Instagram's rules and said it does not view "any content or information that can not be accessed publicly by everyone online".

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