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No private user details leaked: Instagram

An Instagram spokesperson said the database of Chtrbox had publicly available information from many sources, one of which was Instagram.

, ET Bureau|
May 24, 2019, 11.52 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Facebook owned Instagram said on Friday that following an initial investigation into the claims made about their user data being leaked on influencer marketing platform Chtrbox, it found that no private emails or phone numbers of its users were accessed.

An Instagram spokesperson said the database of Chtrbox had publicly available information from many sources, one of which was Instagram. Pranay Swarup, founder of Chtrbox had denied any leakage of private Instagram data in an interview to ET this week.

The Mumbai-based firm had said the details it was alleged to have leaked were “public” and that the number of accounts involved was “in the early thousands” and not in millions.

"There was absolutely no breach from our side on Facebook or Instagram on any kind of data. In our over three years of operations, we've never evaluated public data of over 350,000 social media users, so claims that Chtrbox is responsible for leaking information of millions of influencers/users are downright impossible and entirely false," Swarup had said.

News website TechCrunch was the first to report Monday that the database on Facebook’s photo-sharing platform, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was found online by a security researcher, left exposed and without a password. It had over 49 million records of Instagram users and was traced back to Chtrbox, the website had said.

Swarup told ET a particular database for a limited number of influencers was inadvertently exposed for about 72 hours and that the database in question was a secondary one containing only public data that helped the company’s internal team discover influencers.

"We're in the process of an extensive internal audit, but in a nutshell, this was a minor yet critical gap in a data migration process,” Swarup had said. “For a few hours, a fraction of our database was exposed. However, this was made secure as soon as it was identified by the security researcher. We are taking the help of data experts to further bulletproof our processes.”

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