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Twitter Coughs Up $211 Million In Privacy Settlement

Twitter has settled a 2019 privacy lawsuit with the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.

The US$150 million settlement (A$211 million) covers charges that Twitter encouraged its users to add email addresses and phone numbers in order to enable 2FA security, only to use this information to target advertising.

This activity occurred between 2013 and 2019; the company claimed it “inadvertently” added the information into its advertising system.

“The $150 million penalty reflects the seriousness of the allegations against Twitter, and the substantial new compliance measures to be imposed as a result of today’s proposed settlement will help prevent further misleading tactics that threaten users’ privacy,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta in a statement.

Twitter chief privacy officer Damien Kieran said of the settlement: “Keeping data secure and respecting privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we have cooperated with the FTC every step of the way.

Keiran added that, moving forward, the company would be “building and evolving processes, implementing technical measures, and conducting regular auditing and reporting to ensure we are mitigating risk at every level and function at Twitter.”


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