Facebook-owned Instagram exposes 49 million accounts data. The data leaked online contained the contact information of millions of Instagram celebrities, brand accounts, and influences.
The database exposed is hosted by Amazon Web Services and had no password hence allowing anyone to have access. The databases had over 49 million records.
The information exposed included the profile picture, bio, number of followers, if they are verified, their location by country and city. Other private information exposed were phone numbers and email address were exposed.
Anurag Sen, a security researcher, discovered the database and alerted TechCrunch to locate the owner and secure the database. The database was traced back to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox. Chtrbox pays influencers to post sponsored content on their account.
Each record in the database contained a record calculating the worth of every account, based on engagement, reach, likes, shares and followers they had.
A few people whose data was exposed confirmed that the email addresses and phone numbers found on the database were from their Instagram account, Chtrbox pulled the data offline. The company’s founder and chief executive Pranay Swarup failed to respond on how the company obtained private Instagram accounts’ phone numbers and email addresses.
Facebook is the owner of Instagram, and they had little to say about the matter:
“We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or other sources.”
The privacy accident occurs a month after Facebook leaked private information of its users. This has also happened in the past years.
Big name investors are finding it hard to help Facebook due to its anti-privacy image. Since the Cambridge scandals, Facebook is experiencing a decline in job acceptance rate.
This incident of Facebook-owned Instagram exposing over 49 million account elicits the question of whether people will be comfortable investing in Facebook Coin for fear of their private data going public.
Do you think Facebook should postpone the launch of a Facebook Coin to first handle data privacy issues?
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