We have seen many companies taking advantage of loopholes that are available on different social media networks. Now, a similar incident has been reported by Business Insider regarding Instagram’s ad partner ‘Hyp3r’. The report says that ‘Hyp3r’ was able to save stories of users on Instagram thanks to a loophole present on the platform. This meant that the startup, Hyp3r, stored users’ stories which normally disappear after 24 hours. Apart from that, Hyp3r also used them to track the location of the users and gain insight into the users.
The report mentions that Hyp3r used “a combination of configuration errors and lax oversight by Instagram” in order to build “detailed profiles of people’s movements and interests.”. Talking about Hyp3r, it describes itself as a “location-based marketing platform.” which also suggests its primary focus. This is on tracking social media posts that have location information.
Here is Hyp3r’s description as given by Business Insider:
“In simpler terms: Hyp3r is a marketing company that tracks social-media posts tagged with real-world locations. It then lets its customers directly interact with those posts via its tools and uses that data to target the social-media users with relevant advertisements. Someone who visits a hotel and posts a selfie there might later be targeted with pitches from one of the hotel’s competitors, for example.”
Since the report was published by Business Insider, Instagram has investigated this report and decided to take action on Hyp3r. Instagram has announced a ban on Hyp3r which is its ad partner. The company says that its ad partner’s actions were “not sanctioned and violate our policies”. Instagram says that they have removed their ad partner from the platform. Also, they have taken care that a similar incident doesn’t take place in future. Instagram says that its product change will “prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way”