49 mn Instagram users had their data leaked by Mumbai-based agency, Chtrbox

Mumbai-based Chtrbox, which was allegedly responsible for leaking data of millions of Instagram users, has said database for a limited number of influencers was inadvertently exposed but that did not include any sensitive personal data.

The company termed the reports of private data being leaked as "inaccurate" and acknowledged that "a particular database for limited influencers was inadvertently exposed for approximately 72 hours".

"This database did not include any sensitive personal data and only contained information available from the public domain, or self reported by influencers," it said in a statement late Tuesday night.

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.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel