The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday (25) that Twitter will pay a US $ 150 million fine to settle a lawsuit, making it easier for advertisers to access the site’s personal data of its users.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the judiciary have accused Twitter of using the phone numbers and email addresses provided by its users to enhance the security of their accounts and allowing advertisers to monetize that data.
“Twitter received user data in the guise of using it for security purposes, but used it to target users through ads,” said commission chairwoman Lina Conn.
The personal information that users provide to technology companies and how that data is used causes frequent conflicts between regulators and powerful companies such as meta, Twitter and others. Conflicts over privacy occasionally lead to lawsuits or settlements, but critics call for a complete overhaul of national norms on how individuals’ data is handled in a virtual environment.
Without informing users, Twitter allowed advertisers to target ads using their personal information, the FTC said, working with federal prosecutors to file a lawsuit against the technology company.
In addition to agreeing to pay $ 150 million, Twitter will carry out other actions under the agreement, including periodic evaluation of its privacy plan by an independent consultant. The deal, which requires the judge’s approval, requires Twitter to inform everyone joining the platform by the end of 2019 of the deal and options to protect their privacy.
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