Former Instagram ad partner Hyp3r manipulated a flaw in Instagram’s system to access and create detailed records of users, including their locations, biographies, and photos, Business Insider US reports.
While this information was public, Instagram claims that Hyp3r did not have permission to generate these records, which allowed it to use extensive targeting.
Hyp3r was previously a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner, but Instagram has now banned Hyp3r from its platform.
Instagram has also sent Hyp3r a cease-and-desist notice, confirming that its rules had been broken.
“HYP3R’s actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies. As a result, we’ve removed them from our platform,” Instagram said.
“We’ve also made a product change that should help prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way.”
Hyp3r CEO Carlos Garcia said that their system was compliant with privacy regulations and Instagram’s Terms of Service.
“HYP3R is, and has always been, a company that enables authentic, delightful marketing that is compliant with consumer privacy regulations and social network Terms of Services,” Garcia said.
“We do not view any content or information that cannot be accessed publicly by everyone online.”