On Tuesday, Facebook-owned Instagram said it is investigating whether a third-party - Chtrbox - improperly stored its user data in violation of its policies after reports that information of millions of users being available online allegedly in an unsecured database emerged.
These reports said the database found online - with over 49 million records - contained information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts. The database was allegedly traced back to Chtrbox.
The reports had said apart from public data (like bio, profile picture and number of followers), the database also allegedly contained users' private contact information such as email address and phone number.
An Instagram spokesperson had said the company is "investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of our policies. It's also not clear whether the phone numbers and e-mails in Chtrbox's database came from Instagram".
Chtrbox, in its statement, asserted that no personal data has been sourced through unethical means by the company.
"Our database is for internal research use only, we have never sold individual data or our database, and we have never purchased hacked-data resulting from social media platform breaches. Our use of our database is limited to help our team connect with the right influencers to support influencers to monetize their online presence, and help brands create great content," it added.
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