News

Instagram Exposes an Unknown Number of User Passwords

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 13, 2021

Instagram suffered a potential data leak with its “Download Your Data” feature being compromised. Ironically, the feature is meant to serve as a security measure to help users view all of the data collected by the platform. Users who have been affected by the data leak have been notified already. The “Download Your Data” feature was introduced to comply with the European GDPR policy that went into effect earlier this year.

After Instagram’s security incident the social media platform revealed on Thursday that passwords of some users were leaked accidentally and that it was discovered internally. The number of people who have been affected by the incident is unknown with Instagram not revealing any specifics. According to principal research scientist Chet Wisniewski from Sophos “This is very concerning about other security practices inside of Instagram because that literally should not be possible. If that’s happening, then there are likely much bigger problems than that.”

Instagram Download Your Data

Image Courtesy of Instagram

The “Download Your Data” tool has already been changed to prevent a similar issue from occurring. Users have been asked to update their passwords and also delete their browser history as a security measure to prevent their accounts from being compromised.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, a platform that has suffered from a number of data breaches including a recent incident that involved approximately 30 million user tokens being stolen. Facebook has been trying to bolster its security by going as far as acquiring a cybersecurity company amidst a decline in userbase, especially amongst the teenage demographic. With internet users being more sensitive to data breaches and leaks than ever, such incidents can have damaging consequences to a platform’s reputation and user base.

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