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The company will pay millions in fines after allegations of privacy violations
The United States Government has sued Twitter this week after alleging that it has misled consumers about how the company protects personal data. The currently controversial social media giant has agreed to pay $150 Million in fines.
Twitter has failed to tell users that it uses their contact information to help marketers target advertising campaigns which violated the 2011 privacy settlement with the FTC, according to the lawsuit.
"This practice affected more than 140 million Twitter users while boosting Twitter's primary source of revenue,"
Lina Khan said in a statement.
"This issue was addressed as of September 17, 2019, and today we want to reiterate the work we'll continue to do to protect the privacy and security of the people who use Twitter. Keeping data secure and respecting privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we have cooperated with the FTC every step of the way. In reaching this settlement, we have paid a $150M USD penalty, and we have aligned with the agency on operational updates and program enhancements to ensure that people's personal data remains secure and their privacy protected."
Damien Kieran, Twitter's chief privacy officer, wrote.
This is just another addition to what has already been a headache-filled year for Twitter. As we all know by now, the company is forgoing an acquisition process with Elon Musk which also involves personal shakeups. This however is a little different. Twitter went as far as to tell users their phone numbers and emails were being used strictly for account security purposes with NO mention of advertising leverage.
"From at least May 2013 until at least September 2019, Twitter misrepresented to users of its online communication service the extent to which it maintained and protected the security and privacy of their nonpublic contact information.
Twitter's misrepresentations violate the FTC Act and the 2011 Order, which specifically prohibits the company from making misrepresentations regarding the security of nonpublic consumer information."
The federal lawsuit said.
The agreement between Twitter and the FTC which was made to settle the allegations now implements a blockade on the company to profit from the collection of data. The agreement also allows alternative authentication apps to authenticate profiles. There will be a requirement for Twitter to also disclose the practice.
We wait to see what happens with the most dramatic corporation in history with the settlement still needing to be approved by the court.