Millions of Instagram Influencers & Celebrities’s Data Scraped and Exposed
Contact details and personal information of almost 49 million of its users were left online in an unguarded database and Instagram is left baffled and clueless as to how or why. TechCrunch, who broke the story, have claimed that this database included personal information such as the email address used to set up the account, phone numbers and even the location of its users.
The database, stored on an Amazon server, was not protected with a password and was discovered by an Indian Researcher who immediately alerted TechCrunch to it. TechCrunch has been able to trace the database back to a Mumbai-based company called Chtrbox who refused to comment on this discovery.
Besides personal confidential information, the database also included some high profile Influencer and celebrity accounts and included information such as their bio, profile picture and their follower count. But additionally to this, the database also included a record of a calculated worth of each account, based off their number of followers, engagement, reach, likes and shares they had. This was used by the originating company, Chtrbox, a marketing company which pays influencers to post sponsored content on their accounts, as a metric to determine how much the company could pay them to post an ad.
Gathering or scraping information from Instagram accounts violates the policies of the platform. Instagram is looking into the issue to understand if the data described was collected from the platform or from other sources. Instagram is also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available.