Twitter agrees to pay $150M for breaking privateness guarantees

Twitter has agreed to pay $150 million as a part of a settlement with regulators over allegations that the social media firm misrepresented the “safety and privateness” of person knowledge over a number of years.

The FTC and Division of Justice mentioned that between Might 2013 and September 2019, Twitter requested customers for private data to safe their accounts, however then used that data to focus on customers with adverts.

This is just not the primary alleged violation of the FTC Act, beneath which, amongst different issues, the company is “empowered to forestall unfair or misleading acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” In 2011, Twitter settled with the FTC, which had accused Twitter of significant lapses in its knowledge safety that allowed hackers to acquire unauthorized administrative management of the platform. The order prohibited misrepresentations round how Twitter maintains data like electronic mail addresses and telephone numbers collected from customers.

The penalty introduced at this time has been a pair years within the making. Twitter first warned buyers in August 2020 that it was dealing with an FTC probe and probably a positive of greater than 100 million {dollars} for each violating the FTC Act once more and its 2011 settlement.

“Particularly, whereas Twitter represented to customers that it collected their phone numbers and electronic mail addresses to safe their accounts, Twitter did not disclose that it additionally used person contact data to assist advertisers in reaching their most popular audiences,” the criticism, which was filed by the DOJ on behalf of the FTC, mentioned.

The criticism mentioned customers supplied electronic mail addresses or phone numbers based mostly on Twitter’s “misleading statements” that such data can be used for account safety, like two-step authorizations.

“This follow affected greater than 140 million Twitter customers, whereas boosting Twitter’s major income,” mentioned FTC Chair Lina Khan in a assertion.

The settlement additionally requires Twitter to enhance its compliance practices.

Twitter didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

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