Over 49 Million Private Data Of Instagram Users And Major Influencers Exposed Online In Latest Data Slip-up

Pappi Hex

Image source: Getty Image
Facebook owned social network Instagram has accidentally leaked the private information of Over 49 million of its users, including major influencers and bloggers on an online database that wasn't secured and could be accessed by anyone with Internet access.

The discovery was made by security researcher Anurag Sen who alerted TechCrunch with hopes that some action will be take to secure all the information.
According to the security researcher, the huge database which was easily discovered was hosted on Amazon Web Services and didn't require any password before it could be accessed.

Information leaked included public data taken from influencers accounts such as their bio, profile picture and their number of followers. Private information in the leaked included their location, email addresses and phone numbers.

The alarming part of it was that the number of these 49 million users kept increasing by the hour.

When TechCrunch traced the database, it led them to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox, a company that pays influencers to post sponsored content on their instagram accounts.

The database appears to have been made by Chtrbox to work out how much it should pay an influencer based on he number of followers, engagement, reach, likes and shares they have.

Due to this, it is thought that only people that had a large amount of followers, prominent food bloggers, celebrities and those who post sponsored contents that were affected.

However, some celebrities in the database confirmed that their information were also part of the leak, despite them not having any contact with Chtrbox.

In response to the leaked data, Instagram parent company Facebook has released a statement saying that it was looking into the incident.

"We're looking into the issue to understand if the data described - including email and phone numbers - was from Instagram or from other sources," the Facebook statement said.

"We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available."

A Facebook spokesperson also said that the social media giant was investigating whether a third-party violated its policy.

"We are investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of our policies," the Facebook spokesperson said.

"It's also not clear whether the phone numbers and emails in Chtebox's database came from Instagram.

"Regardless, the possibility of third parties mishandling user data is something we take seriously, which is why we're quickly working to understand what happened."

The data base has since been taken offline and isn't accessible anymore.

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