December 8, 2022


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Twitter to Pay $150 Million for Misusing User Phone Numbers

  • Twitter introduced users’ make contact with info for targeted promoting with out informing them, the DOJ and FTC mentioned Wednesday.
  • Twitter agreed to spend $150 million, but the settlement nevertheless has to be approved.
  • Twitter will also have to submit studies and encounter improved scrutiny from regulators.

Twitter has agreed to shell out $150 million to settle allegations that it failed to tell users that it was employing phone quantities and electronic mail addresses to support corporations do focused advertising and marketing, the Office of Justice and Federal Trade Fee said in a release and court filing Wednesday. 

“The $150 million penalty demonstrates the seriousness of the allegations in opposition to Twitter,” mentioned Affiliate Lawyer Basic Vanita Gupta in the statement. 

The criticism was submitted in California on Wednesday. It states that Twitter, from May perhaps 2013 to September 2019, informed customers it was only inquiring for email messages and phone figures (not displayed on profiles) for account protection. 

But Twitter failed to tell people today that their speak to data would be made use of to support companies performing targeted marketing, the submitting included.

“Twitter’s misrepresentations violate the FTC Act and the 2011 Purchase, which exclusively prohibits the corporation from producing misrepresentations relating to the security of nonpublic customer information and facts,” the filing claims

The launch provides that the practice violated the “European Union-US and Swiss-US Privateness Shield Frameworks.” 

Individuals are a established of privacy specifications that, different from the GDPR, regulated facts transfers between the EU and other nations around the world before they were invalidated in 2020. That left the total factor in sort of legal twilight zone, but, in March, the EU and the US agreed “in theory” to a new framework — but  the specifics have not been finalized,, CNBC reported.

“This practice influenced extra than 140 million Twitter end users, even though boosting Twitter’s key source of income,”  FTC Chair Lina M. Khan explained in the release.

Moreover having to pay out the $150 million, Twitter will encounter what seems to be some demanding actions as a result of the settlement, per the release, all of which will be supervised by the FTC and DOJ. 

The social media firm will have to create reviews for a information privacy situation that impacts 250+ customers and let US end users know “choices for safeguarding their privacy and protection,” if they joined Twitter prior to 2019.

It will also have to do a “privateness review” and compose a report ahead of placing out “any new product or service or services that collects users’ private info,” the release reported. 

Twitter’s chief privacy officer, Damien Kieran, put out a blog site put up exactly where he committed to the many steps the businesses have requested of the organization and verified it would pay out the $150 million. 

“We have cooperated with the FTC each step of the way,” he wrote. 

“We will continue on to companion with our regulators to make positive they realize how stability and privacy techniques at Twitter are often evolving for the superior,” Kieran included in a tweet.

The settlement continue to has to be approved in federal court docket, the release pointed out. 



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