Settling a 6-year lawsuit, Twitter agreed to pay a penalty of $150 million on the count of violating an FTC order in 2011.
FTC and DoJ have alleged that Twitter collected users’ email addresses and phone numbers in the name of account security but used them for running targeted ads throughout these years. Also, the platform has faked compliance with US privacy agreements before Switzerland and the European Union.
Twitter Penalized For Violating FTC Rules
Twitter is a place of active news content and debates regarding various topics all the time. Since several sensitive topics are being discussed most of the time, there are a number of rules set for people involved and the platform that’s handling their data.
In this case, Twitter has failed to properly secure the users’ sensitive data in past, which triggered a lawsuit from the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. The agencies allege that Twitter has violated FTC rules from 2011, which deceived the users on how well their data is secured and maintained with them.
From May 2013 to September 2019, Twitter has been collecting users’ phone numbers and email addresses in the name of account security, but instead used it for sending targeted online ads!
Further, the agencies noted on Wednesday that Twitter has falsely claimed to comply with the US privacy agreements before the European Union and Switzerland, knowing that they prohibit companies from processing user information in a way that users don’t authorize.
Leveraging over 140 million users’ personal information, Twitter ran ads to earn money – it’s the primary source of income, said Lina Khan, chairman of FTC. This led them to slap Twitter with a fine of $150 million, which Twitter settled on Wednesday.
Responding to this, Twitter’s Chief Privacy Officer, Damien Kieran, said;
“Keeping data secure and respecting privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we have cooperated with the FTC every step of the way.”