Twitter fined $150M for selling user data

According to a court complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), “While Twitter represented to users that it collected their telephone numbers and email addresses to secure their accounts, Twitter failed to disclose that it also used user contact information to aid advertisers in reaching their preferred audiences.” The document lists the offenses as occurring between May 2013 and September 2019. In addition to paying the $150 million penalty, the settlement requires the company also to improve its compliance practices. Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons commented that this was a well-deserved fine. “Violating users’ privacy in such a way is outrageous,” he said. “If Twitter has behaved the same way with all its users, it could be facing fines way higher for violating Europe’s GDPR.” Twitter makes an annual revenue of $5 billion, with 90% of the money coming from advertisers. For more on this story, see The Guardian.  

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