Twitter must pay $150 million for using personal data for targeted ads

The US Federal Trade Commission fined Twitter $150 million for illegally handing over user data to sell targeted ads.


Twitter will pay a $ 150 million fine and implement new security measures to resolve the allegations from federal regulators. US regulators allege the platform failed to protect the privacy of user data over a six-year period.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) indicate that Twitter violated a 2011 FTC order by misleading users about the protection of their personal data.

From May 2013 to September 2019, Twitter  told its users that it was collecting their phone numbers and email addresses for account security purposes. 

However, the company did not disclose that it would also use that information to allow companies to serve targeted online ads to Twitter users , US regulators alleged.

False privacy on Twitter

Regulators also said, in a federal lawsuit, that Twitter falsely claimed that it complied with U.S. privacy agreements with the European Union and Switzerland, which prohibit companies from processing user information contrary to legally authorized purposes. the users.

“Twitter obtained user data under the guise of exploiting it for security purposes, but then also ended up using the data to target users with ads, ” FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. “This practice affected more than 140 million Twitter users, while fueling Twitter’s main source of revenue.”