LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A report released by Business Insider claims Instagram user’s stories were secretly being saved and their locations were tracked and stored by a marketing firm.
According to Business Insider news editor Rob Price, San Francisco-based marketing firm Hyp3r had been collecting data for the past year without Instagram noticing.
“We told [Instagram] about it this week and Instagram has moved rather quickly,” Price told CBSLA. “They’ve issued Hyp3r a cease-and-desist and asked them to stop using data and delete the data they have.”
Hyp3r was said to be a preferred “Facebook Marketing Partner.”
An Instagram spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider, “HYP3R’s actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies. 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.”
Price said that the marketing company was taking public information that Instagram users were making at different geo-locations like restaurants, bars, hotels, and stadiums.
Anytime anybody made a post or shared a story using a location, Hyp3r would grab that post and store it along with other information, Price explained.
The company would also grab the user’s number of followers and bio information. Using that information, they would build a picture of who the user is and what their habits and movements are over time.
The privacy concerns come more than a year after a Cambridge Analytica scandal in which Facebook user’s data was used to target political campaigns at certain people.