Twitter to pay $150 million to settle with US over privacy, security violations – Times of India


WASHINGTON: Twitter Inc has agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations it misused personal info, like telephone numbers, to focus on promoting after telling customers the data could be used for safety causes, in response to court docket paperwork filed on Wednesday.
Twitter’s settlement covers allegations that it misrepresented the “safety and privateness” of person information between Might 2013 and September 2019, in response to the court docket paperwork.
The corporate can pay $150 million as a part of the settlement introduced by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Along with the financial settlement, the settlement requires Twitter to enhance its compliance practices.
The criticism stated that the misrepresentations violated the FTC Act and a 2011 settlement with the company.
“Particularly, whereas Twitter represented to customers that it collected their phone numbers and e-mail addresses to safe their accounts, Twitter didn’t disclose that it additionally used person contact info to assist advertisers in reaching their most well-liked audiences,” the criticism stated.
Twitter’s chief privateness officer, Damien Kieran, stated in an announcement that with the settlement “we’ve aligned with the company on operational updates and program enhancements” to guard person privateness and safety.
Twitter is a free service that makes cash primarily by means of promoting. Billionaire Elon Musk, who’s shopping for the service for $44 billion, has criticized its ads-driven enterprise mannequin and pledged to diversify its income sources.
“If Twitter was not truthful right here, what else is just not true? That is very regarding information,” Musk stated in a tweet late on Wednesday, commenting on the social media firm’s advert practices and the effective.
U.S. officers identified that of the $3.4 billion in income that Twitter earned in 2019, about $3 billion was from promoting.
The corporate made $5 billion in income for 2021. It stated 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 focus on customers with advertisements,” stated FTC Chair Lina Khan in an announcement. “This apply affected greater than 140 million Twitter customers, whereas boosting Twitter’s main income.”
The criticism additionally alleges that Twitter falsely stated it complied with the European Union-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privateness Protect Frameworks, which bar firms from utilizing information in ways in which customers don’t authorize.
Twitter’s settlement follows years of fallout over the privateness practices of tech firms.
Revelations in 2018 that Fb, the world’s greatest social community, was utilizing telephone numbers supplied for two-factor authentication to serve advertisements enraged privateness advocates.
Fb, now referred to 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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