US fines $ 150 million for privacy violation / Day

Twitter has agreed to pay a fine to close the case.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice accused Twitter of collecting phone numbers and email addresses that customers provided to strengthen the security of their accounts and then allowing advertisers to use the information to make a profit.

“Twitter obtained data from users under the pretext of using it for security purposes, but then also used the data to send ads to users,” said Lina Kahn, chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The personal information that users pass on to technology companies, and how that data is used, has repeatedly been the cause of conflict between regulators and influential firms such as Facebook’s parent company Meta, Twitter and others.

Controversy over privacy has led to periodic lawsuits or settlements, but critics have long called on the United States to update its rules on how human data is processed online.

In the five years to 2019, more than 140 million Twitter users revealed their phone numbers or email addresses to the San Francisco-based company to help protect accounts with two-factor authentication, regulators said.

Without warning users, Twitter allowed advertisers to use personal information to select and serve ads, the Federal Trade Commission said, working with federal prosecutors to sue the technology company.

“Consumers who share their private information have a right to know if that information is being used to help advertisers target,” said Stephanie Hindsa, a U.S. lawyer.

In order to reach a settlement, Twitter agreed not only to pay a fine, but also to introduce new measures. Among other things, the company will have independent experts evaluate the Twitter privacy program.

“Maintaining data security and privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we’ve worked with the Federal Trade Commission every step of the way,” said Damien Kyran, Twitter’s chief privacy officer.

“We have agreed with the agency on performance updates and program enhancements to ensure that people’s personal data remains secure and their privacy is protected,” said Kīran, noting that the penalty had already been paid.

The settlement, which will have to be approved by a judge, also stipulates that Twitter must inform all people who joined Twitter before the end of 2019 of the agreement and the options for protecting their privacy.

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