Massive Instagram data dump by Indian firm exposed records of millions of influencers – report

Instagram has long transformed from a photo sharing social network into an ad app on which “influencers” – users with thousands of followers – promote products and services for money or barter.

READ MORE: Facebook helps phone companies gather user data, including their ‘creditworthiness’ – report

Now it has emerged that millions of phone numbers, email addresses, photographs, numbers of followers and prices per post of such users were dumped unprotected for anyone to view, IT news site TechCrunch reported.

Journalists found out that the database was linked to social media marketing company Chtrbox, located in Mumbai. It describes itself as “the leading platform for brands to discover and collaborate with all kinds of talented influencers in India,” which means it pays social media celebrities for posting sponsored content.




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None of the listed influencers contacted by TechCrunch, however, could confirm they had a contract with Chtrbox.

The firm refused to comment on the story, but soon after the request, the database was closed. Facebook, which owns Instagram, said that it was looking into the issue “to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or from other sources.”




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