Facebook is set to face further scrutiny after the contact information for millions of influencers, celebrities, and brands on the Instagram platform leaked online.
First reported by TechCrunch, the database contained more than 49 million records and could be assessed without a password or other login information. The database was hosted by Amazon Web Services, though it’s not thought Amazon is to blame for the breach.
The database includes public information that was pulled from the social network, like profile pictures, biographies, and follow numbers, but concerningly, it also included private contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses, that either had to have been collected from users individually or scraped from the Instagram platform without permission.
According to reports, the database included records that calculated the worth of each account, based on their follower account, likes, and engagements.
Uploaded by Mumbai-based social media firm Chtrbox, it’s believed the leak stems from a database designed to connect brands with influencers for sponsored content purposes, with many celebrities, travel and food bloggers, and other influencers amongst the names in the leaks.
In its report, TechCrunch contacted several users who had featured in the leak, and all said that the contact information had been used to sign up to Instagram, but that they’d had no involvement with Chtrbox, which suggests the data had been obtained illegally.
In a statement, Facebook said: “We’re inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available,” but we’re still waiting on a further comment.
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