Monday, 14 October, 2019

Twitter admits phone numbers meant for security used for ads

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Sandy Mccarthy | 09 October, 2019, 13:14

Twitter users' phone numbers and email addresses - submitted to allow for account authentication - were matched with advertisers' own data to enable targeted ads.

Twitter is the latest to join the club after it confirmed it was conducting targeted advertising using phone numbers provided for two-factor authentication.

Twitter does not know how many of its users were impacted by this.

Twitter says it mistakenly used the phone numbers and email addresses people provided for security purposes to show advertisements to its users.

Twitter said this was a bug, and not something it meant to do.

"As of September 17, we have addressed the issue that allowed this to occur and are no longer using phone numbers or email addresses collected for safety or security purposes for advertising", the company said. "This was an error and we apologize", said Twitter. For the past year, the company has been disclosing similar blunders all over its platform.

Hong Kong's Lam says Chinese military could step in if uprising worsens
While the Bill has been withdrawn, the protests have morphed into an anti-government movement calling for more democracy. The Hong Kong democracy protests have been ongoing for more than 17 weeks and show no signs of abating.

Twitter says it was just an accident that caused the microblogging giant to let advertisers use private information to better target their marketing materials at users.

"We're very sorry this happened and are taking steps to make sure we don't make a mistake like this again", the San Francisco-based company said. They were provided to help protect users' accounts one way or another.

Twitter explained when a user provided their number for the security feature, Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences may have used that data inadvertently. This had been a known security flaw for some time, but was only taken down after the account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was compromised.

Last year, the micro-blogging platform asked its 336 million users to change their passwords across its services after it discovered a bug that stored passwords in plain text in an internal system.

Earlier in 2017, thousands of Twitter accounts were compromised by Turkish hackers to broadcast "Nazi" tweets, with the finger of blame pointed at the Twitter Counter app.

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