With just a few clicks in any old web browser, one can uncover the persistent URLs of private Instagram posts and stories that have been cached on Instagram-owner Facebook's servers.
By using a web browser that allows users to inspect the elements of a web page, one can find the URL of an Instagram image one has clicked on.
That URL can be swiped and then shared with other people exposing the image to those not on Instagram. This works for private photos too; if following a user with a private account, they could take the URL of those private posts and share them with people who've not been granted access to the photo and story feed.
It seems a little convoluted and the person who could breach a private account would need to be someone the private account trusted enough to grant them access to their private pics. But this is the world of social media, and some people will let all manner of dodgy folks into their online lives.
This all seems to be a bit of an issue with the way Instagram is behaving with Facebook's back-end servers, but the social network didn't seem too fussed.
"The behaviour described here is the same as taking a screenshot of a friend's photo on Facebook and Instagram and sharing it with other people," a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed. "It doesn't give people access to a person's private account."
That's a fair point, but it's a lot easier to quickly share a URL than it is to snap a screenshot and upload them to various people, so this is still a flaw that needs a fix in our mind.
And all this somewhat flies in the face of Mark Zuckerberg's idea of a privacy-focused social network nirvana. µ
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