So, TechCrunch reported that “millions of Instagram influencers had their private contact data scraped and exposed.”
You heard that right. Email addresses of Instagram influencers and celebrities, for a brief moment in time, were just sitting on an Amazon cloud server, ripe and ready for all sorts of exploitation waiting to happen.
Just imagine what could follow if an Instagram influencer gets yet another unsolicited email from someone they don’t know?
Hey, Miss Influencer,
Love love love your profile! Care to promote my course on how to become your best you as a six-figure earning mega-tastemaker?
Never mind where I got your info...
Influencers eat unsolicited emails for breakfast. And lunch, dinner, maybe tea...
Now before all you marketers, lead gens, and hustlers of the world start to salivate, just know that as of this writing, this little treasure trove of free leads has already been taken offline.
It’s all thanks to one Anurag Sen, an independent cybersecurity researcher. (“Intrepid Internet Bounty Hunter” is a way cooler job title, IMHO.)
And while we’d love to say all’s well that ends well, that’s definitely not the case for Chtrbox, the influencer marketplace responsible for having left all its members’ data unsecured.
Definitely not the kind of referral traffic you’d thank TechCrunch for
In the midst of this bad press storm are Chtrbox’s nameless employees - or whoever’s the poor soul in charge of their PR.
Suffice to say they weren’t pleased with the kind of coverage they were getting.
You got it all wrong, media
In a clarification posted on the company’s website, Chtrbox called out the “media” for reports that were “inaccurate, in both the number of influencers included in the database as well as the nature of the data.”
Here are Chtrbox’s rebuttals, drilled down:
- Profiles in the Chtrbox database never reached millions
Chtrbox claims to have far fewer influencers in its database compared to the “millions” reported on the news - never over 300,000, to be exact.
- Information was voluntarily given or publicly shared
The information and other data points were either taken from publicly available sources or were voluntarily given by the influencers themselves. Nothing unethical there.
- No sensitive, private data included
The “leaked” data did not include sensitive personal or private information such as bank details, home addresses, or passwords - the kind criminal hackers could realistically exploit.
Now, we’ve seen what happens to a company that gets publicly lambasted for failing to protect its members’ data. Yep, we’re looking at you, Facebook. And does anyone still remember the unfortunate case of Ashley Madison?
So, Chtrbox has our sympathies. As it stands, they’ve definitely fallen into a bit of an unenviable predicament.
So what’s next? And why should you care?
Influencer marketing is a new but fast maturing industry.
And the truth is, legitimate, professional influencers who do influencer marketing for a living do share their business contact information publicly on their profiles.
That’s because, unless you’ve been living under a rock, that’s how brands and companies can find and hire them for ad campaigns.
So don’t fret, all you marketers, lead gens, and hustlers of the world. While you can’t have the Chtrbox database, you can use ours.
It’s a safe place for you to gather all the influencer profile data, emails, and contact info you could ever want.
Our Instagram influencer database is in the legit tens of millions, and all our data is secure and legally acquired. We just make it faster to find what you’re looking for, down to the niche level.
And don’t worry about stuff suddenly going offline. Our database is one that’s always open to serve you, comes with powerful filters, sorting, and awesome customer support.
Because really, who wants to mess around with over 75 million Instagram profiles with just a spreadsheet?