Instagram shows that Facebook's privacy problems didn't end with Cambridge Analytica

Mark ZuckerbergFacebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to reporters at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts November 7, 2011.REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Hello,

This is Alexei Oreskovic, Business Insider's Global Tech Editor and West Coast Bureau Chief. Welcome to "Trending," our new weekly newsletter dedicated to Business Insider Prime's tech coverage.

Whether you work in Silicon Valley or compete with its denizens, our mission is to give you the info you need to stay ahead of the pack, with exclusive, fly-on-the-wall reporting from inside tech's most innovative companies; smart analysis that reveals the real story behind product pivots, management shake-ups, and acquisitions; and honest insight and perspectives from the players shaping the market.

This week: Instagram has a 'Cambridge Analytica moment'

Netflix recently began streaming a documentary about Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal. The film, "The Great Hack," is a fascinating look at how the personal data of 87 million Facebook users - including their likes, dislikes and other proclivities - wound up in the hands of a British political consulting firm and how the data was then exploited by political campaigns to manipulate people by pushing their emotional buttons.

More than one year after Cambridge Analytica, we're still only beginning to take the full measure of how vulnerable we, and our data, are - something that's clear in Rob Price's investigation into Instagram's lax practices around users' personal data. Rob's story details how a buzzy San Francisco marketing firm called Hyp3r systematically scraped millions of posts, photos and location data belonging to Instagram users (including Stories, a type of post designed to disappear after 24 hours). The firm used the data to compile detailed profiles about Instagram users. Sound familiar?

Instagram sent Hyp3r a cease-and-desist letter after Business Insider presented the social network with its findings. And Instagram-owner Facebook has since sent out notices to other marketers warning about the verboten behavior. But keep in mind that Hyp3r was not some shady, boiler-room operation. It was a trusted, vetted, Facebook Marketing Partner. The fact that it openly flouted Facebook and Instagram's rules for more than a year so it could misappropriate user data is a remarkable revelation - and unlikely to be the last.

Read the full story:

Instagram's lax privacy practices let a trusted partner track millions of users' physical locations, secretly save their stories, and flout its rules

HYP3R IG user data scraping 4*3Yutong Yuan/Business Insider

Are you ready for WeWork's long-awaited IPO?

The $47 billion office co-sharing company's IPO prospectus is expected to be released any day, with a stock listing coming as soon as September.

As Troy Wolverton explains in his analysis of the top questions surrounding WeWork ahead of its IPO, there are a lot of peculiarities and red flags about this business, including whether we should even think about WeWork as a tech company or something altogether different.

This is a must-read piece before you dive into WeWork's forthcoming S-1 filing.

Read it:

Here are the 5 biggest questions facing WeWork as it prepares for its IPO

Adam Neumann wework we company ceoAdam Neumann, CEO of The We Company.Jackal Pan via Reuters

You may not have heard of an Oakland, California startup called NPM, but chances are good you're enjoying its benefits.

NPM's coding tools and public registry power much of the software that runs the internet, allowing developers at companies like Uber and Spotify be more productive. As Rosalie Chan reports, the open source startup is undergoing a painful battle for its soul, as a new CEO tasked with making the business financially sustainable clashes with employees devoted to preserving NPM's "coder" culture.

It's the tale of Silicon Valley itself: The tension between tech idealism and business imperatives. The result has been layoffs, angry resignations, and paranoia about snooping on Slack conversations. And in June an anonymous rabble-rouser even sent the COO a copy of "Corporate Finance for Dummies." Ouch.

Read it:

NPM, a startup 11 million developers rely on, is tangled in a bitter cultural battle as it tries to actually make money

Isaac Schlueter_npmNPM CEO Isaac SchlueterNPM

Other recent tech highlights:

And more from across the BI newsroom:

Thanks for reading BI Prime, and you can always feel free to reach out to me directly with feedback, thoughts and tips at aoreskovic@businessinsider.com. You can also take part in our subscriber survey here.

{{}}
Add Comment()
Comments ()
X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.