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Twitter Admits Using Users’ Contact Information for Targeted Adverts

Facebook is not the only social media platform that’s misused account information. Twitter stated yesterday that it “recently discovered that some e-mail addresses and phone numbers provided for account safety might have been used unintentionally for advertising purposes.”

It would be hard to imagine, however, people usually share info with social media companies that they wish to keep private. The most typical example is contact info (phone numbers and e-mail addresses) used for two-factor authentication features meant to make accounts secure. However, firms merely cannot manage to use the data the way it was meant, as Twitter recently demonstrated.

Twitter mentioned in a support article that it did not share users’ personal information with its partners or “any other third parties.” As an alternative, the company claimed it mistakenly used private data to help with its advert program, precisely its Tailored Audiences and Partnered Audiences tools.

 Facebook similarly exploited phone numbers explicitly provided to enable two-factor authentication. Researchers stated in September last year that these phone numbers were used to inform targeted advertisements, even though Facebook claimed they would not be, and then it was unveiled in March that Facebook users could search people by phone numbers, which were supposed to be private.