Instagram bans ad supplier Hyp3r for data collection

Instagram has banned Hyp3r from delivering ads to its platform, according to an investigation by Business Insider

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app sent a cease-and-desist letter to San Francisco based geosocial marketing company Hyp3r, ending their working relationship.

Hyp3r provided location-based marketing to Instagram, but have come under fire from Facebook for allegedly collecting user-data.

In a statement issued on their website, Hyp3r CEO Carlos Garcia said: “The last couple of days have been a whirlwind for our team at HYP3R. We have been wrongly compared to Cambridge Analytica and characterised as a company that is breaching people’s privacy.”

Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm, had developed an app to survey a small number of Facebook users, but instead found that they had access to the data of 57 million people, which they went on to use to influence political campaigns.

Hyp3r instagram promotional video
Still from a Hyp3r promotional video / Credit: HYP3R

Hyp3r has allegedly collected precise geolocation information from Instagram users in order to build “detailed profiles of people’s movements and interests.”

Business Insider claims that Hyp3r exploited a loop-hole in the platform, using it to retain Instagram stories. These short updates are supposed to disappear from the platform after 24 hours.

Carlos Garcia went on to say: “Those statements are fundamentally wrong. Breaching privacy implies that we have obtained information that is private which is something that we have never done.” 

Facebook and Instagram in the spotlight again

This is the latest in a string of scandals involving Facebook and the privacy of their users’ data.

The Cambridge Analytica breach landed Facebook with a $5 billion fine last month. According to the FTC, it is “The largest ever imposed on any company for violating consumers’ privacy and almost 20 times greater than the largest privacy or data security penalty ever imposed worldwide.”

Last week, the social media company also lost an appeal against a class action lawsuit for illegally collecting biometric data from facial recognition technology.

Amid the misconduct, the American tech giant shows no signs of slowing down. It is set to launch a digital currency, Libra, and is also in the development stages of a mind-reading device.

Luke Conrad

Technology & Marketing Enthusiast

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