Twitter has agreed to pay $150 million in a lawsuit by U.S. regulators. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice said that between May 2013 and September 2019, Twitter misled users about the use of their personal data. According to the chairman of the FTC, the company’s actions affected more than 140 million users, increasing the income of the social network.
Twitter misled users by claiming that the collected email addresses and phone numbers of users are used only for security purposes. At the same time, all the collected data was transmitted to advertising agencies for targeting. By its actions, Twitter violated the 2011 FTC decree prohibiting the company from distorting information about what methods are used to protect, store and use users’ personal information.
In addition to the fine, as part of the settlement agreement, Twitter must strengthen the methods of protecting users’ personal data. The company has already promised to change its policy in this area.
Recall that the personal data of Twitter users is available not only to advertising agencies. A member of the REvil group was able to convince the social network to transfer user data.