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.
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.