Millions of Instagramers’ Private User Info Made Public by Data Scraper


Tech sleuth Anurag Sen discovered a database of Instagram influencers, celebs, and brands that included user information that was both public and private in nature.

Image by USA-Reiseblogger

When Sen discovered the database it was at 49 million entries and growing by the minute.

Hosted by Amazon Web Services, the database did not have any kind of security on it to keep prying eyes from scanning through its data.

After getting in touch with TechCrunch, the publication traced the owner of the database back to a social media marketing firm called Chtrbox.

To verify the information, TechCrunch also contacted a few of the accounts in the database and the users that responded verified the publication’s findings.

Things get a little weird though when the website tried to contact Chtrbox’s CEO and founder, Pranay Swarup.

TechCrunch also attempted to elicit some kind of statement from Pranay Swarup as well as ask him a few questions about how his company was able to scrape such data. As of press Chtrbox has not responded.

Nonetheless, the database was made private shortly after TechCrunch contacted him.

Part of the database also included a calculation about how the company should pay each account for a sponsored post.

Chtrbox’s actions come after reports of data scraping via a bug in the developer API of Instagram that exposed pretty much the same kind of data on six million Instagrammers.

Facebook for their part issued the following statement: “We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or from other sources…We’re also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available.”

As always, we’d love to know your thoughts on this story in the comments below.


What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast

It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.

  1. html cleaner  Easy DSLR –  Friend of Light Stalking, Ken Schultz has developed this course over several years and it still remains the single best source for mastering your camera by identifying the main things that are holding you back.
  2. Word to html  Understanding Composition – As one of the core elements of a good photograph, getting your head around composition is essential. Photzy's guide to the subject is an excellent introduction. Their follow-up on Advanced Composition is also well worth a read.
  3. Word to html  Understanding Light – Also by Photzy, the other essential part of photography is covered in this epic guide and followed up in Understanding Light, Part 2. This is fundamental stuff that every photographer should aim to master.
  4. Word to html  5 Minute Magic Lightroom Workflow – Understanding post production is one of the keys to photographs that you will be proud of. This short course by one of the best in the business will show you how an award-winning photographer does it.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

With each passing month, the Internet is becoming more and more like our modern version of the lawless wild west.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *