Instagram targets app that lets anyone view private profilesLast updated on Nov 18, 2019, 02:11 pm
A few days back, we reported about Ghosty, a scary app that allows anyone to view photos, videos, and stories shared on private Instagram profiles.
The app is touted as a fun solution, but in reality, it's promoting stalking of accounts that people think are safe from outsiders.
Now, Instagram has noted this problem and is taking action against Ghosty.
Here are more details.
How Ghosty opened access to private accounts
The Ghosty app, available on both Android and iOS, requires users to invite their friends to join the app.
Once that's done, the service fetches the data of the new joinees and makes their profile public, even if it's private.
This eventually allows people (everyone on the service) to view their Instagram profile and the photos, videos, stories shared on it.
Now, Instagram is taking action against the company
While Ghosty isn't breaking Instagram directly, its invite-based system violates Instagram's policies, promoting stalking, and fooling users.
Thankfully, the Facebook-owned company realized this issue (after a number of reports) and decided to take action against the developers of the app.
It has sent a cease and desist notice for violating terms and is also planning "further enforcement" to get the app taken down.
Still, Ghosty has been around for a long time now
Instagram's warning and action might get Ghosty removed in a matter of a few weeks or even days.
However, the point of concern is the life of the app; it debuted back in April and has raked in as many as 500,000 downloads since then.
This is long enough to expose a lot of private Instagram profiles without proper permission.
Currently, it remains active online
At the time of writing, Ghosty was available on the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.
The developers of the app have not come out and defended their idea, which leads us to believe it might eventually be pulled.
Not to mention, it is also surprising why Google and Apple haven't taken any action against the app, given its behavior.