Twitter Fines IDR 2.2 Trillion for Violating Privacy

TWITTER has agreed to pay a US$150 million fine over allegations that game advertisers on the social media service used user data, which should have been used to strengthen the service’s security. This was disclosed by the government of the United States (US), Wednesday (25/5).

The Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice have accused Twitter of taking the phone number and email address given to it to strengthen security and allowing advertisers to use them for profit.

“Twitter collects data from their users for security reasons but they also use that data to target their users with specific advertisements,” said Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan in a statement.

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The personal data that users hand over to technology companies and how that data is used has been a source of conflict between governments and big companies like Meta, Twitter and others.

Disputes over privacy have resulted in a series of lawsuits. This has led Americans to demand that the government immediately update laws on how personal data is used by online companies.

In the five-year period to 2019, 140 million Twitter users submitted their cell phone numbers or email addresses to the San Francisco-based company to help secure their accounts with two-step authentication.

The security technique includes creating a password via a code sent via SMS or email.

However, without their users’ consent, Twitter has allowed advertisers to use that personal data to deliver advertisements.

“Consumers who share their personal data have a right to know how that data is being used to help advertisers,” said US Attorney Stephanie Hinds.

In addition to paying a $150 million fine, Twitter will also introduce new rules that include allowing security programs to be evaluated by independent watchdogs.

“Ensuring data security and respecting privacy is something we take seriously,” said Damien Kieran, Twitter’s head of privacy. (AFP/Cah/OL-1)

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