Hyp3r reportedly collected Instagram data of users to be used by its clients for targeting people with ads
Instagram, the U.S. based social networking company owned by Facebook, has reportedly sent a refraining letter to Hyp3r for improperly collecting user data.
According to trusted sources, the San Francisco based marketing startup developed tools that facilitated collecting of public Instagram data, including profile information, posts by users and visited locations. The extracted data could have further been used by Hyp3r’s clients to target people with ads.
Additionally, Hyp3r collected information from Instagram stories of users that usually disappear after 24 hours and are not accessible through tools made by Instagram that are accessible to third parties.
In a statement by Instagram, the company reportedly mentioned that Hyp3r had violated company’s policies as a result of which they have been removed from the platform. Reportedly, Instagram has also altered their product in order to prevent other companies from harvesting public location pages.
Citing reports, an Instagram feature that allowed anybody to see information regarding public location pages irrespective of being logged into Instagram or not was being used by Hyp3r. This was done to showcase material on the service along with ensuring that it showed in Google search results. Henceforth, Instagram has shut down access to the location pages unless a user logs into the service.
In recent news, a similar case was registered with Facebook in March 2018, where a political consulting firm gained access to data of over 87 million Facebook users without any authorization. Furthermore, a wave of negative publicity regarding how Facebook collects, stores and secures user information was set off.
However, Hyp3r has denied any such allegation. The company reportedly states that Hyp3r has always provided authentic marketing services that complies with privacy regulations of the customers and the terms of service of social networking platforms. The company does not trespass into viewing any information or content that cannot be accessed publicly.