Twitter to pay $150M to settle federal go well with over knowledge assortment practices

“For the reason that center of 2015 alone, we have suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or selling terrorist acts, primarily associated to ISIS,” Twitter mentioned in a press release. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg) Chris Ratcliffe

Twitter to pay $150M to settle federal go well with over knowledge assortment practices

Nihal Krishan

Might 25, 08:38 PM Might 25, 08:38 PM

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The federal authorities Wednesday introduced that Twitter has agreed to pay $150 million in civil penalties and alter its knowledge privateness measures after the platform profited off of deceptively accumulating person knowledge for six years.

The Division of Justice and the Federal Commerce Fee introduced a settlement and criticism with Twitter that, if permitted by a federal court docket, would end in a $150 million penalty. That covers admission by the social media big that between Might 2013 and September 2019, the corporate advised customers it was accumulating their phone numbers and e mail addresses for account safety functions. However Twitter did not disclose that it additionally would use that info to assist corporations ship focused ads to customers.

“Because the criticism notes, Twitter obtained knowledge 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,” mentioned FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan. “This follow affected greater than 140 million Twitter customers whereas boosting Twitter’s main income.”

Twitter has agreed to settle the federal authorities’s allegations by implementing important new compliance measures meant to make sure that the corporate improves its knowledge privateness follow by way of a complete privateness and data safety program and conducts common testing of its knowledge privateness safeguards.


The San Francisco-based tech big shall be required to acquire common assessments of its knowledge privateness program from an unbiased assessor, present annual certifications of compliance from a senior officer, present studies after any knowledge privateness incidents affecting 250 or extra customers, and adjust to quite a few different reporting and record-keeping necessities.

“The $150 million penalty displays the seriousness of the allegations towards Twitter, and the substantial new compliance measures to be imposed because of immediately’s proposed settlement will assist forestall additional deceptive ways that threaten customers’ privateness,” mentioned DOJ Affiliate Legal professional Basic Vanita Gupta.

The federal authorities’s criticism towards Twitter additionally alleges that the platform falsely claimed to adjust to the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privateness Defend Frameworks, which prohibit tech corporations from processing person info in methods that aren’t licensed by customers themselves.

Twitter has taken duty for its previous person knowledge privateness issues.

“In reaching this settlement, we have now paid a $150M USD penalty, and we have now aligned with the company on operational updates and program enhancements to make sure that folks’s private knowledge stays safe and their privateness protected,” Twitter mentioned in a weblog put up Wednesday.

“Shifting ahead, we are going to proceed to make investments on this work, together with constructing and evolving processes, implementing technical measures, and conducting common auditing and reporting to make sure we’re mitigating threat at each degree and performance at Twitter,” the corporate added.

G3 Field Information

Below the settlement phrases, the DOJ and the FTC will every be accountable for monitoring and implementing Twitter’s compliance.

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