Twitter has revealed that an issue with the platform’s privacy settings could have allowed user data to be shared with third-party organisations.
In a blog post, the social media company said that users who clicked on or viewed an ad since May 2018 could have shared data with third-party firms and advertising partners. Twitter also confirmed that data may have been shared even if permission had not been granted by the user.
The company said: “If you clicked on or viewed an advertisement for a mobile application and subsequently interacted with the mobile application since May 2018, we may have shared certain data with trusted measurement and advertising partners, even if you didn’t give us permission to do so.”
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The data Twitter believes may have been shared with partners includes country code, information about the ad and when a user engaged with it. Users can set their data sharing preferences via the platform’s settings section. However, the company added that it failed to “follow the choices” users make.
A second issue highlighted by the company revealed that Twitter may have shown users ads based on the inferences it made about the devices they use; once again, without requesting permission.
The firm insisted that the data involved “stayed within Twitter and did not contain things like passwords, email accounts, etc”.
Twitter confirmed that it fixed the issues on the 5th of August and urged users to contact them if they want to know whether they were personally affected, as well as how many people were involved.
“We are still conducting our investigation to determine who may have been impacted and if we discover more information that is useful we will share it,” the blog post read.
“You trust us to follow your choices and we failed here. We’re sorry this happened, and are taking steps to make sure we don’t make a mistake like this again,” the firm added.