Instagram Is Now Dealing With Some User Data Violation Issues


The topic of data safety and social media platforms has once again been brought to our attention after Instagram ran into an unfortunate incident this week.

As the Business Insider has reported, a “trusted partner” of Instagram is believed to have been violating the channel’s privacy rules by tracking users’ locations, saving Instastories indefinitely and recording details from personal bios.

Ah, yep. Okay. Cool.
Image: NBC

The company at the centre of the scandal was named as San Francisco tech business HYP3R. It’s been suggested that the practise was going on for about a year.

The oversight on Instagram’s part is particularly concerning when you consider the data breach weathered by Facebook in recent years.

Facebook, who now owns Instagram, was slapped with hefty fines and faced legal ramifications after some 87 million users were impacted.

In Instagram’s particular case, it’s been reported that HYP3R used specific locations, bios and the like to build detailed profiles on users.

A spokesperson for Instagram released a statement on the situation, stressing that measures have been taken to avoid a similar occurrence in future:

“HYP3R’s actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies. As a result, we’ve removed them from our platform. We’ve also made a product change that should help prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way,” they said.

Business Insider shares that HYP3R has also issued a comment, denying any foul play:

“HYP3R is, and has always been, a company that enables authentic, delightful marketing that is compliant with consumer privacy regulations and social network Terms of Services. We do not view any content or information that cannot be accessed publicly by everyone online,” said CEO Carlos Garcia.

Chrissy Teigen Is All Of Us With Her Complicated Feelings Towards 'Perfect' Instagram Profiles

“I think that's so annoying but I'm like, 'Oh, I just posted that'.”

Chrissy Teigen has established herself as a celebrity for the people. Sure, she may be inconceivably attractive, rich as hell, and married to John Legend… But she’s also unapologetically honest, and is committed to giving people a full – and flawed – picture of her life.

While speaking on a panel at POPSUGAR Play/Ground over the weekend, the author and model spoke about the duality of social media that tends to plague our experience of the platforms.

“I’m hyper-aware of that girl that ‘has it all’,” she told bestie Jen Atkin in the interview.

“I think that’s annoying… so it’s hard being that person that you think is annoying.”

But what’s interesting is that she then went on to admit that despite her dislike of the superficial nature of so many social media accounts, she still catches herself following suit from time to time.

“You try to show all parts of you, not just like, ‘Oooh I’m eating pizza.

“I think that’s so annoying, but then I’m like, ‘Oh, I just posted that,’” she laughed.

Image credit: Spike TV

And she raises an interesting point. Because for all its negative impacts, and all the criticism it receives (from experts and everyday users, alike) social media users are still on the rise, and a whole lot of them are snapping cute photos in the hope that they’ll gain a few extra likes. Yes, including yours truly.

There’s a real danger in the seemingly perfect lives people tend to promote on social media, with many studies linking the trend to increases in anxiety and depression. But even with this knowledge, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to purport that image.

For Teigen, while she may occasionally catch herself posting that ‘hot girl eating pizza’ photo, she always tries to pay attention to the message she’s sending. Something that, frankly, is refreshing to see from a celeb:

“I think about pictures that you post and if you look like you’re having the best time and everything’s a fantasy land, and everything looks wonderful, “she said.

“And I don’t like doing that to people. I like to post the other side of things.”

“When it comes to anything – when it comes to vacations – I never want to sell people on this life that’s unattainable or a fantasy. That’s why I like to talk about how dumb John is, or…”

Why? Well, because she feels more connected to regular folk like you and me than the shiny world of celebrity personalities.

“I’m happy if people can see a part of themselves in me or, with their parenting see that I’m going through the same things they’re going through,” she said.

“That’s because I’ve always felt more a part of your world than I have when I’m at an awards show…”

If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, it’s always a good time to seek some support. beyondblue can offer you personalised support.

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