Twitter apologized to its users for using their data to personalize ads. It was supposed to happen accidentally, and now the company is taking steps to ensure that the incident does not happen again. In addition to explanations, Twitter has also provided a form through which doubtful users can contact its data protection officer.
We learn from the statement that if we shared an email or phone number with Twitter for security purposes, this data may have been used to match the ads displayed to us. The company admits that it does not know how many users this applies, but confirms that it solved the problem on September 17. If we registered after this date, our data certainly remained intact.
We have recently discovered that if you provided an email address or phone number for security or protection purposes (e.g. two-step verification), this data may have been accidentally used for advertising purposes, especially in our Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences advertising system.
Tailored Audiences is a version of the industry standard product that allows advertisers to target customers based on their own marketing lists. Partner Audiences allows you to use the same Tailored Audiences features to target audiences provided by external partners. When an advertiser uploaded their marketing list, we could match people on Twitter to that list based on the email or phone number provided for security or protection purposes. It was a mistake for which we apologize.
Twitter adds that apart from this data connection, no personal data has ever been shared externally – to partners or other entities. In case of doubt or questions, you can contact the Twitter Data Protection Officer via form.
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