Ghosty was an Android app that allowed people to access or get someone’s private Instagram accounts, even though it is against the social network’s term of service. Ghosty is not a new app it is available on the Play store since April of 2016 and it has accumulated more than 500,000 downloads. This is quite a huge data to work with and it is surprising neither Google nor Facebook have caught it.
Facebook does not have a good reputation when it comes to minding user’s privacy and Cambridge Analytical Exploiting the Social Network’s third-party APIs for unchecked data collection surely has not checked. Ghosty takes advantage of Instagram’s API to create a stalker Elysium.
By Crowdrise, the data of all its user’s Instagram accounts, allow accessing many private profiles. It is easy to view anyone’s Instagram accounts just by sharing Instagram login credentials. But you have to invite at least one other person to the service to be able to view private profiles, this helps the app to consistently increase its pool of available content if any of its users follow the account it frames that account’s content.
Ghosty allows us to skip the invitation step and it was easy to view at least a private profile, it might only be required in a later phase after a tie-up with new users. It further brazenly exploits the desire to access more private accounts and make them pay for bundles or watch ads.
To be clear, this app is almost certainly prohibiting more than just one term of services of Instagram and facebook surely does not approve or endorse an app that exploits users. Even people who enable the service by signing up for it and inviting more friends to join could face consequences such as bans when the company winds up.
Optimistically, Facebook will react soon and work on ensuring the privacy of anyone who has private accounts, even if it means to cross-check the third party access more adhered to.
Instagram claims that it does not approve Ghosty’s misemploy of its services while Facebook company stated that Ghosty violates its terms of services and has never been available through facebook and facebook also send an abandon and terminate letter to Ghosty order them to immediately stop their activities on Instagram, among other request and further investigate and plan to further enforcement relating to this.
Also, the company cannot attempt to buy, sell or transfer any aspect of account or solicit, collect or use login credentials or badges from others. While in 2019 following Facebook’s s abandonment and transmitting letter, Ghosty has been removed from the Play store but it is unclear whether it is done by Google or the developer themself decided to pull or deceased the app.