July 5, 2022

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The U.S. Stock Exchange watchdog has fined Twitter for misusing phone numbers

The U.S. Stock Exchange watchdog has fined Twitter for misusing phone numbers

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Writes Twitter “used fraudulent account security data to serve ads to users.” These are the phone numbers and email addresses that users provide to Twitter to protect their accounts, for example if they forget their password.

The social media company used this information for its advertising sales. Using this data, advertisers were able to target their ads to specific users, the FTC believes. This can be done by matching addresses and phone numbers with other personal data from other sources.

Based on this match, a profile was created by the user. Advertisers will list what types of users they want to reach. Ads are Twitter’s biggest source of revenue.

‘Twitter lied to users’

Twitter is said to have misused the information provided from 2014 to 2019. The company created the illusion that users’ data would only be used for security purposes.

These practices are said to have affected more than 140 million Twitter users. In addition, Twitter violated the privacy shield that governs the exchange of data between the United States and the European Union.

In addition, in 2011 there was already an order from FTC to Twitter. In it, the FTC forced Twitter to be honest about its privacy policy.

New rules for Twitter

With the fine, the FTC wants to impose a new restraining order. Twitter should no longer monetize shady data, provide users with security options other than phone numbers, and inform all users about abuse.

The current fine and restraining order comes from Twitter’s settlement with the FTC. The settlement was announced on the same day as the FTC’s indictment.

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