Twitter Reportedly to Pay $150 Million to US to Settle Allegations it Misused Private Information

Twitter has agreed to pay $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,164 crore) to settle allegations it misused personal data, like cellphone numbers, to goal promoting after telling customers the data can be used for safety causes, in accordance to courtroom paperwork filed on Wednesday.

Twitter’s settlement covers allegations that it misrepresented the “safety and privateness” of consumer information between May 2013 and September 2019, in accordance to the courtroom paperwork.

The firm pays $150 million as a part of the settlement introduced by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In addition to the financial settlement, the settlement requires Twitter to enhance its compliance practices.

The criticism mentioned that the misrepresentations violated the FTC Act and a 2011 settlement with the company.

“Specifically, whereas Twitter represented to customers that it collected their phone numbers and e-mail addresses to safe their accounts, Twitter failed to disclose that it additionally used consumer contact data to assist advertisers in reaching their most popular audiences,” the criticism mentioned.

Twitter’s chief privateness officer, Damien Kieran, mentioned in an announcement that with the settlement “we’ve got aligned with the company on operational updates and program enhancements” to defend consumer privateness and safety.

Twitter is a free service that makes cash primarily via promoting. Billionaire Elon Musk, who’s shopping for the service for $44 billion(roughly Rs. 3,41,300 crore), has criticised its ads-driven enterprise mannequin and pledged to diversify its income sources.

“If Twitter was not truthful right here, what else isn’t true? This could be very regarding information,” Musk mentioned in a tweet late on Wednesday, commenting on the social media firm’s advert practices and the advantageous.

The US officers identified that of the $3.4 billion (roughly Rs. 26,389 crore) in income that Twitter earned in 2019, about $3 billion (roughly Rs. 23,284 crore) was from promoting.

The firm made $5 billion (roughly Rs. 38,806 crore) in income for 2021. It mentioned in a submitting earlier this month that it had put apart $150 million after agreeing “in precept” upon a penalty with the FTC.

“Twitter obtained information from customers on the pretext of harnessing it for safety functions however then ended up additionally utilizing the information to goal customers with adverts,” mentioned FTC Chair Lina Khan in an announcement. “This follow affected greater than 140 million Twitter customers, whereas boosting Twitter’s major income.”

The criticism additionally alleges that Twitter falsely mentioned it complied with the European Union-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks, which bar corporations from utilizing information in ways in which customers don’t authorise.

Twitter’s settlement follows years of fallout over the privateness practices of tech corporations.

Revelations in 2018 that Facebook, the world’s largest social community, was utilizing cellphone numbers supplied for two-factor authentication to serve adverts enraged privateness advocates.

Facebook, now known as Meta, equally settled with the FTC over the problem as a part of a $5 billion settlement reached in 2019.

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