WASHINGTON, August 8, 2019 – News of another data breach at Facebook marketing partner Hyp3r on Thursday prompted more demands for federal privacy legislation.
According to the non-profit group Public Knowledge, Hyp3r collected public records of Instagram users’ geolocation, personal bios, followers, metadata and photos – all without users’ consent.
“It’s well past time for Congress to enact strong, comprehensive federal privacy legislation,” said Dylan Gilbert, policy fellow at Public Knowledge.
As long as companies operate free of strong consumer privacy and security laws, he said, companies will continue to turn a blind eye to user privacy and security violations.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said it has terminated its partnership with Hyp3r. Hyp3r had been using data harvesting tools to download users’ Instagram stories that are supposed to auto-delete after 24 hours.
Hyp3r also reportedly took advantage of a security lapse in the Instagram app to harvest posts tagged with geofenced locations. In both cases, only public accounts were compromised.
In the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Instagram had begun disabling parts of its API, including location tools. However, Instagram’s faulty implementation of API rollbacks prompted Hyp3r to create tools that take advantage of these discrepancies, according to a report in Gizmodo.
Hyp3r saved the content and then used the information to build and sell extensive profiles of users’ daily lives, said Gilbert. While this was done in violation of Instagram’s rules, Hyp3r appears to have been free of any meaningful oversight from Instagram or Facebook.
Rules should be put in place that will empower consumers to better control their data, said Gilbert. The situation is also unsurprising, given that Facebook likely indirectly profited from Hyp3r’s data collection via the Facebook ad manager tool.
(Photo from Hyp3r's Twitter stream.)
- Democrats Call for New Infrastructure Stimulus Legislation Includes Large Broadband Provision
- The FCC Could Do More Now About the Digital Divide, Say Panelists at Broadband Breakfast Live Online Event
- Coronavirus Roundup: Senators Urge Distance Learning, Zoom Privacy, NTIA Broadband and RUS Grants
- Federal Communications Commission Proposal for Unlicensed Spectrum in 6 GHz Band Widely-Praised
- Coronavirus Roundup: Speedy FCC Web Meeting, NCTA Broadband Dashboard, GEO’s New Mapping Tool
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China1 month ago
Tech Officials Diagnose Excessive Trump Actions as Product of ‘Huawei Derangement Syndrome’
Health4 weeks ago
Battling Coronavirus COVID-19, Broadband Could Provide Relief Although Telemedicine May Not Help
Health2 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online Will Stream Daily in March on ‘Broadband and the Coronavirus’
Net Neutrality1 month ago
FCC Seeks Comment on Net Neutrality Issues Remanded by Appeals Court: Public Safety, Pole Attachments and Lifeline
Section 2301 month ago
Attorney General Bill Barr Calls for ‘Recalibrated’ Section 230 as Justice Department Hosts Tech Immunity Workshop
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
U.S. Progress on AI and Quantum Computing Will Best China, Says CTO Michael Kratsios
Broadband Mapping & Data1 month ago
Poor Broadband Maps and Lack of a Consolidated Voice Hinder Advocacy for Better Rural Internet
Asia1 month ago
Broadband Roundup: Global Internet Censorship, Tribal Divide, Klobuchar on the Broadband Stump