A database containing data of nearly 235 million users across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube has been breached. The database stored scraped data from the three social media sites, which included profile names, full names, contact info, age, gender, images, and follower stats.
This database is owned by a now-defunct company called Deep Social, according to security researcher Bob Diachenko from Comparitech. He also uncovered three identical copies of the database on August 1. Last year, Diachenko also bumped into a database containing data of 267 million Facebook users that had been left exposed for nearly two weeks.
A point to note is web scrapping – the act of scrapping publicly available data from web pages – is not illegal.
It’s however not vouched for by social media companies, because it puts the security of their users at risk.
“Please, note that the negative connotation that the data has been hacked implies that the information was obtained surreptitiously. This is simply not true, all of the data is available freely to ANYONE with Internet access” Deep Social wrote to the researcher in an email.
As a social media user, the only way you could be safe is by making your accounts private, advises Deep Social.
The servers hosting the database have already been taken down.