Twitter fined $150 million for taking users’ phone numbers to advertise
Twitter will have to pay a fine of up to 150 million USD to settle the privacy lawsuit. Earlier in 2019, Facebook was also fined for the same accusation.
Twitter will have to “pay” a fine of up to 150 million USD to settle a privacy lawsuit with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and (FTC). In the announcement on May 25, Twitter arbitrarily used the email address and phone number of users to get information for advertising purposes.
Besides the fine, Twitter must also accept an audit of its data privacy program among other restrictions.
The legal petition claims that Twitter failed to comply with its user policy between 2013 and 2019, in violation of the FTC Act and its previous privacy agreement (2011).
Although it is advisable for users to add a phone number or email address to implement security measures such as two-factor authentication. In reality, however, Twitter uses that data to deliver its ads.
In fact, Twitter issued an apology in 2019, saying it “accidentally” included addresses and phone numbers in its advertising system. The complaint also alleges that during that time, Twitter made false statements about its compliance with the EU-US and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework.
“The $150 million penalty shows the seriousness of the allegations against Twitter, and the new compliance measures proposed today will help prevent misleading issues that threaten people’s privacy. use,” Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in the statement.
In 2019, the FTC targeted Facebook with the same allegation and fined the company $5 billion for it, among other privacy violations.
The new compliance measures will require Twitter to maintain a comprehensive privacy and information security program. At the same time, the company must conduct regular audits and assessments of its safeguards.
Twitter must also notify anyone who joined Twitter before September 2019 of the federal court-approved settlement.
Twitter’s chief privacy officer, Damien Kieran, acknowledged the federal court settlement in a blog post along with a series of tweets.
“We will continue to work with our regulators to ensure that they understand how the privacy and security practices at Twitter are always evolving for the better,” he added.
Thai Hoang (according to The Verge)
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