The personal information, including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, of millions of Instagram influencers has been online for an unknown time, TechCrunch reports Monday. The data was linked to public profile information.
The data was accessible via a server that was not protected with a password. According to the American news site, the data of at least 49 million accounts could be found there.
In addition to influencers, individuals with a large online reach through social media marketing companies, the database also contained data from celebrity and corporate accounts. Who exactly has fallen victim to data collection is not clear in the reporting.
According to TechCrunch, the unprotected server was managed by the Indian company Chtrbox, which works with influencer marketing. The database was taken offline after the news site approached the company for a response.
Presumably the data was collected via a method called ‘scraping’. An automatic program collects the data. Because this is against the rules of Instagram, a spokesperson for parent company Facebook says the company is investigating the case.