FTC agrees to pay 150 million in fines for past misuse of Twitter users’ personal information

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Hits keep coming to Twitter headquarters.

This week, there’s Twitter The FTC has agreed to pay 150 million For past misuse of user data, which is seen, the information submitted for the purpose of confirming personal identification has been incorrectly used in an attempt to target Twitter ads.

Explained by Twitter:

On May 25, 2022, Twitter reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding a privacy breach published in 2019 when certain email addresses and phone numbers provided for the purpose of account security may be inadvertently used for advertising. This issue was addressed until September 17, 2019, and today we would like to reiterate what we will continue to do to protect the privacy and security of Twitter users. “

The issue, as a Twitter note, was made public in 2019, when Twitter revealed that it was using information submitted for account security checks in its data targeting process.

Twitter has released its initial search Q3 2019 resultsSo that it mentions that the correction of this component will have an impact on its overall revenue performance.

As Twitter CFO Ned Segal explained at the time:

When you’re new to Twitter we ask people multiple questions before we put you on a timeline. The questions we ask are whether we can use your device settings to find the best ads to show you. It turns out that the setting wasn’t working as expected, and we were using device settings even when people told us not to. So when we discovered it, one, we tweeted about it, which is why we often try to be transparent to people when things don’t work out as expected. And two, we turned off the setting so that it works as expected. This has a negative impact on revenue because it’s a low input that you get when you decide which ads to show people. So instead of having a partial quarterly effect, you get a full quarterly effect in Q4. ”

So, basically, Twitter’s system doesn’t respect user privacy input and that was the error For six yearsBetween 2013 and 2019.

Which is a significant breach of privacy, hence a 150 million fine from the FTC.

According to FTC’s announcement:

“Twitter users are asked to provide their phone numbers and email addresses to keep their accounts secure. The firm then benefits by allowing advertisers to use this data to target specific users. Twitter cheating Violates a 2011 FTC order Which explicitly prohibits the company from misrepresenting its privacy and security practices.

While the lawsuit itself is not new, and the bug at the root of the problem has been fixed, it is another blow to Twitter, which is under pressure to reduce costs as it works to meet its own, tougher revenue and growth. Target, while navigating the unfavorable takeover push from Elon Musk.

Twitter has factored this fine into its forecast, so the hit won’t be as significant as it sounds, but still, $ 150 million is a lot to close its books – though it will pave the way for a new era if / when the Kasturi app is adopted.

Despite Mask’s protests over the platform’s fake profile calculations and other transparency issues that still seem to be ‘when’.

Whatever happens next, it helps clarify Twitter’s laser, as FTC fines have been hanging around for almost three years.

The case again highlights that even such a relatively minor error can have a big impact when you work on the scale of social platforms. A small error is a problem with hundreds of people, but when it affects millions of people, the scope of that problem expands significantly.

And other bugs can still be found – although Twitter says it has implemented various checks and procedures to make sure it is no longer abusing user data.



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