Twitter Violates Privacy Policy, Fined $150 Million

Twitter Violates Privacy Policy, Fined $150 Million

  • Twitter is set to pay a $150M penalty for allegedly breaking its privacy policy.
  • This is coming after the microblogging site was accused of using its users’ phone numbers and email addresses to target ads.
  • This new development will compel Twitter to maintain a completely open privacy and information security program. 

Twitter Inc. has agreed to pay $150M after it was accused of illegally using its users’ data for over six years to help sell targeted ads by the Federal Law Enforcement Officials.

According to court documents, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated that the microblogging site misrepresented its policies to users between 2013 and 2019. 

In 2011, Twitter encouraged its users to add their phone numbers and email addresses to give room for security measures just like the two-factor authentication. 

The microblogging site however went against its privacy policy, using the information gotten from its users to target ads. This was covered in a complaint announced by the DOJ and FTC. 

What this means is that Twitter has been using its users’ information to boost its advertising business, allowing advertisers to have access to its users’ phone numbers and email addresses and this is a breach of privacy policies.

In addition to the $150M penalty, the DOJ and FTC made it known that Twitter must also accept audits of its data privacy program among other restrictions.

Privacy policy

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Reacting to this new development, Damien Kieran, the Twitter Chief Privacy Officer acknowledged via a tweet thread the company’s compliance to pay the fine. 

She wrote: 

“Our settlement with the FTC reflects Twitter’s pre-existing commitments and investments in security and privacy. We will continue to partner with our regulators to make sure they understand how security and privacy practices at Twitter are always evolving for the better.”

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