Instagram bans ad partner for improperly collecting user data

CNET | 8/7/2019 | Steven Musil
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Instagram banned an ad partner for scraping users' publicly available information, in violation of its rules.

Instagram has kicked a marketing startup off its platform after determining it improperly collected user data. The Facebook-owned social network took the action on Hyp3r after finding the startup scraped public data such as users' physical locations, profile information and photos to serve better targeted ads.

Instagram - Letter - San - Company - Wednesday

Instagram sent a cease-and-desist letter to the San Francisco-based company on Wednesday after learning of the activity from Business Insider, which reported on the data collection earlier. Information collected by Hyp3r included data stored in Instagram Stories, content designed to disappear after 24 hours and not available through the company's API.

"Hyp3r's actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies," an Instagram spokesperson said. "As a result, we've removed them from our platform. We've also made a product change that should help prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way."

Instagram-owner - Facebook - Scrutiny - Revelation - Year

Instagram-owner Facebook has been under scrutiny since the revelation last year that consultancy Cambridge Analytica had misused Facebook user data in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. Since then, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified in front of Congress and the European Parliament...
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