Instagram is investigating an app that allowed users to view private accounts

The company will be sending a cease and desist letter to Ghosty to stop their activities on Instagram.

A stalker-friendly app called Ghosty that allows users to view private Instagram accounts has been instructed by the Facebook-owned company to halt all its operations. Using crowdsourced data, several private profiles could be viewed using the app.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The method that the app employs to let you view private accounts already should bring up a red flag to you since it asks for your Instagram login credentials. Android Police reported that the service asks you to invite at least one user to the service to continue with the stalking. By doing this across several users, the app is building a library of these private accounts to be viewable by new users.

Ghosty has accumulated over 500,000 downloads in the Google Play Store and it has been available there since April. In a statement to Android Police, Instagram said that the app “violates our terms” and it cleared out that the functionality was never available in its API.

The company is “investigating and planning on further enforcement” over the developers of the shady app. “We will be sending a cease and desist letter to Ghosty ordering them to immediately stop their activities on Instagram”, it added.

Instagram pointed out its terms and conditions to Android Police that said, "You can't attempt to buy, sell, or transfer any aspect of your account (including your username) or solicit, collect, or use login credentials or badges of other users."

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