Latest Instagram Update Creates Potential Privacy Issue

It's been exactly a week since Instagram rolled out its latest multi-account update which allows users to easily switch between accounts on their device. While the new feature works more or less as expected, it still managed to achieve what software updates in general are often prone to doing - break existing stuff. Specifically, a particularly problematic bug was just discovered in the latest version of Instagram after it turned out that some users can see personal notifications including Direct messages of other users.

While the specific cause of this problem is still unknown, there's little doubt that it's connected to joint account management. So, if multiple people are managing, i.e. sharing an Instagram account, they will also often receive personal notifications from non-shared accounts of other users with whom they're sharing a single account. For example, if the Android Headlines Instagram page has three community managers who are updating and managing it, these three now also see each other's personal notifications and at the moment, there doesn't seem to be any way to prevent this. Apart from the fact that Instagram users are now receiving notifications which they shouldn't be receiving, another issue within this issue is that related push notifications are arriving according to the settings chosen by the original users. In other words, many Instagram users are now bombarded with notifications even though their very own accounts are set-up to not do that. Naturally, the problematic notifications don't actually lead to anything as after you click on them, the app "realizes" you're not actually logged into the account it's notifying you about. This is still a huge privacy issue as it reveals both account names and snippets of their comments and messages sent to other users.

While the bug isn't consistently reproducible, numerous Instagram users are still confirming it's happening at the time of writing this. It's also yet to be determined whether this is just a server-side, or also a client-side issue, but hopefully, Instagram will fix it in a hasty manner, especially since the company has already confirmed that it's aware of the problem and is working on a solution. With a bit of luck, the upcoming video caption update won't break more Instagram features, or at the very least won't create additional privacy issues.

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About the Author

Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]