Twitter makes it clear that it is sharing more data with advertisers

by Simon Cohen

Twitter has now removed the privacy feature that used to allow its users to stop sharing private info with advertisers. The feature ensured that Twitter did not share information such as the ads one interacted with or saw and tracking identifier from his phone. Now, for most users, such information will be shared by default, and you cannot turn it off. 

Twitter said that it shared data used to show the efficacy of Twitter advertising. It will help Twitter prove that people are watching and interacting with the posted ads, which helps the company continue operating as a “free service.”

The option located on the Twitter settings known as “Share your data with Twitter’s business partners” used to allow you to disable sharing that information. The setting still exists, but Twitter has removed the control from you over “mobile app advertising measurements.”

Other privacy settings, such as disabling web tracking, have not been affected and are still available. Twitter will not share your email address, phone number, or username.

However, there is an exception for Twitter users in the European Free Trade Association, United Kingdom, and the European Union. These users will have to allow sharing of the information should they want to allow Twitter to share more information about them.

Twitter users were alerted about this change through a pop-up when they opened Twitter starting 11 AM ET April 8, 2020. A Twitter spokesperson stated that this update is “part of our ongoing work around transparency and control. We want to ensure that people understand the settings we provide, what they do, and how to use them.” The alert was received by everybody, even people who had not disabled sharing data.

The availability of data has made a big impact on the earnings of Twitter in previous years. In 2019, Twitter missed some earnings due to a bug that prevented it from effectively using as well as sharing this kind of ad information.

Additionally, Twitter mentioned that the bug had also caused it to ignore a few user settings to prevent particular data from being shared. Even though Twitter is not removing those settings, this change seems to simplify things, and it gives Twitter more control.

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