US FTC Investigates Email Address and Phone Number Abuse by Twitter

Spread the love

The FTC is investigating whether Twitter violated the rules when it was found that email addresses and phone numbers of Twitter users could be misused by advertisers for more targeted advertising. Twitter expects a loss of at least 150 million dollars.

Twitter writes in a document filed with the SEC stock exchange regulator that the Federal Trade Commission sent an initial complaint to the company on July 28, saying that Twitter may have violated a previous agreement. Between 2013 and 2019, it was possible for advertising companies to view the email addresses and telephone numbers of Twitter users, in order to use them for more targeted advertisements. Twitter itself announced this last October.

These would be email addresses and telephone numbers that users had entered for, for example, two-factor authentication. It is unclear how many users were affected by the error. The problem has now been solved according to the platform.

The FTC is investigating whether Twitter has violated a 2011 agreement with this. This agreement followed two hacks in January and May of 2009, when criminals took over Twitter accounts. Under this regulation, Twitter must not mislead its users for 20 years about the way in which the company guarantees the security, privacy and confidentiality of user data. For example, the company must not mislead its users when it comes to unauthorized access to non-public information.

The FTC is now likely to investigate whether Twitter misled its users when the email addresses and phone numbers were used by advertisers. Twitter expects to receive damages of 150 million to 250 million dollars through this investigation. It is unclear whether this only concerns the fine, or whether, for example, attorney fees are also included in this. The social media platform emphasizes that the case has not yet been concluded and that the outcome and timing are still unclear.

You might also like