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.)
- Social Media Not About Publisher Versus Platform, Says Expert Author on Section 230
- Federal Trade Commission Aims to Ramp Up the Cybersecurity Efforts of Financial Institutions
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Praises Broadband Tower Workers as Part of Broadcasting Spectrum Repack
- West Des Moines and Google Fiber, Big Tech’s Advantage, Trump Considers TikTok Ban
- Breakfast Media Minute: July 13, 2020
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Artificial Intelligence3 weeks ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial Intelligence2 weeks ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Broadband Roundup2 weeks ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
#broadbandlive4 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 – Federal Broadband Funds and Opportunity Zones
Education3 weeks ago
A Mix of Resources and Technologies Are Needed to Close the Homework Gap
Fiber1 month ago
Bandwidth Demands Project 10 Gigabit Network Capabilities Required Next Decade
House of Representatives3 weeks ago
Witnesses Blame Social Media Algorithms for Spread of Misinformation
5G6 days ago
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Describes 5G-to-the-Home Vision, Claiming U.S. Leads in 5G Deployment