Millions Of Instagram Influencers Had Their Personal Data Exposed By Mumbai Based Marketing Firm
In latest reports, a huge database which contained contact information and other sensitive data of millions of Instagram accounts has been discovered online. Hosted online by AWS (Amazon Web Services), the database had no sort of security detail to encrypt the data. Previously, any user could simply access the database and peek into over 49 million records present inside. It was later traced back to a Mumbai-based social media marketing organization called Chtrbox.
The marketing firm pays Instagram and other social media influencers to post sponsored (ad-revenue generating) content on their feeds. The data stored in the database included the total number of followers per account, engagement, reach, likes, shares and other sensitive information such as private contact information. Using this information, the firm calculated the net worth of the account and then determined how much it can pay an Instagram celebrity to post an advertisement.
Sources state that the database contained info about high-profile influencers, including popular food bloggers and celebrities. When sources contacted some influencers present in the list, some of them responded saying that it was indeed the same contact number and email address that they used while signing up for the Instagram account. Also, they did not have any involvement with Chtrbox either, which confirmed that the aforementioned information was being used without the consent of the user.
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As soon as sources reached out to Chatrbox, the marketing firm immediately took down the database from online servers and refused to respond to any forms of questions and queries whatsoever. The American social media company and the owner of Instagram, Facebook stated that it was investigating the matter of the security breach, and will reach out to the marketing organization to comprehend the source of the data and the public availability of the same.