Twitter Required to Pony Up 150 Million to in Penalties to Use Personal Data for Ads

As per court filings released recently, Twitter has agreed to reimburse the FTC $150 million in fines for improperly passing over customer information to market tailored adverts. It was alleged that in 2011, the corporation broke an accord with the FTC not to disclose personal information with advertising when it brought action jointly with the Department of Justice.

As a result, from 2013 through 2019, Twitter allowed advertisers access to two-factor authentication user information. Twitter’s marketing tactics would be scrutinized by authorities as well as an impartial auditing organization for the next twenty years as part of this latest agreement.

Twitter Was Watching


Customers were informed that only they had authority over who could see their Twitter posts and personal texts in a shielded profile, while in fact Twitter staff members had direct exposure to those postings and Twitter struggled to restrict external file sharing. The initial FTC grievance billed the corporation with breaching the FTC’s deceiving practices statute.

CPO Damien Kieran claimed on Twitter’s website that the firm “found” in 2019 that customers’ secure email accounts and telephone numbers were “unwittingly” utilized for customized advertisements via its Customized Audiences program, which he defended. As a result of a “whoopsie,” email addresses of Twitter users were mistakenly added to the marketing lists of advertising. Authorities indicated that more than 140 million people supplied this information to Twitter at the time, although they did not have an accurate count.

This is a key principle that we consistently strengthen by upgrading our methods in order to match the increasing demands of our consumers, according to Kieran. Although part of the work has gone into building a bizarre and broken game, which misses disclosing Twitter’s advertising rules, Twitter has lately moved to render its privacy policy more visible.


Twitter Q1 Sales Touched $1.2 Billion Mark

To put it another way, the punishment is nothing for a corporation that generated first-quarter sales of $1.2 billion, even though it was less than experts had projected. This is nothing in comparison with the $5 billion Facebook gave the FTC a couple of years back as a resolution for disclosing privacy information with advertising agencies even though that is little for such a large firm. Investors alleged that Facebook spent more because CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted to dodge getting prosecuted directly.

Many analysts have urged Congress to ease the FTC’s ability to implement laws, particularly those that deal with how corporations regulate disinformation, in light of this setback to Twitter at a precarious moment. There is some concern that new restrictions and many litigations may push technology corporations to explore for new methods to generate revenue other than via personalized advertising, as NPR quoted Consumer Reports director of technology strategy Justin Brookman.


Elon Musk, the Founder of Tesla and the new owner of Twitter, thinks this is a sign of more “lies” from Twitter management. He said on Twitter, “If Twitter isn’t telling the facts, what else isn’t?” News like these should worry us greatly.” To be clear, Twitter officially apologized for disclosing this information to its users as recently as 2019. In spite of what Musk has maintained, it’s impossible to conclude that Twitter withheld this information from the SpaceX Chief exec.