A new report from a cybersecurity firm has shown that sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been able to access users’ personal information and track their locations without a warrant.
The researchers at Mandiant analyzed the content of some 50 million tweets from July 6 through August 10, 2018, and discovered that Instagram users were able to upload images without permission, and Facebook users could track a user’s location.
The Mandiant researchers noted that it’s possible for these sites to access and collect data without any permission at all, but it’s important to remember that there are no easy answers to these issues, and that it can be difficult to track people who simply aren’t using a device.
It was not clear if Instagram was accessing the images directly or just sharing them with users, the researchers said.
“These sites may not be aware of the legal implications of these practices,” the report said.
Mandiant’s research found that, for instance, Instagram users had to provide permission before sharing their location data, and for Twitter users, it required the user to give permission.
It was not immediately clear how much data Instagram users could access without the permission.
The site is a part of a broader trend in the past few years of tech companies tracking users’ location, which the researchers believe is becoming more common in the US.
In addition to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users have been found to be using location-tracking software called Location Services that can track users and locations.