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Home / Business / Great Instagram advertising partner banned for tracking users' locations and more

Great Instagram advertising partner banned for tracking users' locations and more



Following a shocking exposure from Business Insider large Instagram ad partners Hyp3r have been banned from the platform for tracking millions of users' locations, storing public Instagram stories and automatically scraping user data.

Hyp3r is "an award-winning, location-based marketing platform" based out of San Francisco. The marketing company has raised over $ 23 million in funding, and until yesterday they were identified as a trusted marketing partner on Facebook. It offers location-based branding data and, for example, allows a hotel to target ads or interact with you on social media if you post a photo from their rooftop bar.

The report from Business Insider that about 90% of Hyp3r's data comes via Instagram, and then when Facebook removed positioning tools from the API following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Hyp3r was in trouble. The company praised Instagram's decision to protect users' privacy, and issued a statement saying Hyp3r, "understand [s] and welcome [s] the changes Facebook makes to protect all of us," but according to Business Insider sources, the marketing firm had to work immediately to circumvent these constraints behind the scenes.

A screenshot from a Hyp3r marketing video shows how brands can take advantage of location data to target potential customers. [19659005] The violations described in the report have tripled. First, Hyp3r utilized a "security lapse" on Instagram to continue scraping the user's location data; Second, the company saved these users' public Instagram Stories, which are believed to disappear after 24 hours; and third, it deleted all these profiles for publicly available data as a sequel.

When Business Insider shared their findings with Instagram, the social network immediately confirmed that Hyp3r had breached its automated data collection policy, Hyp3r sent a cease-and-desist letter and banned the company from the platform. "HYP3R's actions were not sanctioned and violated our policies," a spokesman for BI said. "As a result, we've removed them from our platform."

BI states that the volume of data that Hyp3r collected in violation of Instagram's terms is "not clear", but they claim that "large amounts of public user data" were scrapped, and Instagram is clearly taking the breach seriously.

To read the complete release – including Hyp3r's assurances that they have done nothing wrong by pulling data that "can be publicly accessed by anyone online" – over to Business Insider . The report blames Instagram for "flabby oversight", while others believe the blame lies closely on Hyp3r for finding a way to bypass Instagram's API updates. Who do you think is to blame?

(via Engadget)


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