US government sues Twitter for misleading users and failing to guarantee user privacy

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Twitter has been in the news recently, first with the deal with Elon Musk (a deal with an as yet unclear outcome), and now the social media platform is being sued. 9to5Mac reports that the US government has filed a lawsuit against Twitter for allegedly misleading the way user data is used for advertising.

Twitter is being sued for misleading users about their data

The lawsuit we’re talking about here was filed in the… Northern District of California† The issue the lawsuit focuses on is how Twitter manages users’ contact information and how the social media giant has failed to inform its users about how this data is used for targeted advertising. In the lawsuit, the U.S. government focuses on the period between May 2013 and September 2019. According to the allegations in the lawsuit, Twitter misled its users during the above-mentioned period by stating that data such as phone numbers and email addresses is used solely to access their Twitter. to protect accounts.

You might guess where this leads. Yes, despite informing users that this data is intended to protect their accounts, it was also used to help advertisers reach Twitter users.

But the allegations in the lawsuit don’t stop there. The US government also notes that Twitter failed to ensure that tweets and DMs from secure accounts were inaccessible to Twitter employees.

To delve into more details, the complaint focuses on Twitter misleading its users by misrepresenting the control they could have over their accounts. For example, Twitter stated that users can send private direct messages that can only be viewed by the recipient. The problem, according to the lawsuit, is that the social media giant had no safeguards to ensure this, and allegedly failed to restrict employees’ access to non-public user information based on a person’s job requirements.

And what does all this mean? Well, it means that if those allegations are true, Twitter would have violated the FTC Act and Order of 2011. The law prohibits a company from misrepresenting the security of non-public consumer information.

The lawsuit is demanding “civil penalties” for the aforementioned violations, as well as a permanent ban to ensure Twitter stops violating the law.

Twitter seems to be in deep water lately

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the situation with Elon Musk and his bid to buy out Twitter entirely, turning the social media company into a private company. However, this is also not without problems. Elon Musk Offered $44 Billion to Buy Twitter, But Then… multi-billionaire put the deal on hold, stating that it couldn’t go any further until Twitter provided clear numbers on how many of its active users were actually fake accounts created by bots.

So far, the deal is on indefinite hold and it’s unclear whether it will go through or not. On the other hand, Jack Dorsey, who stepped down from Twitter’s CEO position last year, has now decided to leave Twitter’s board of directors. Jack Dorsey is a co-founder of Twitter and now it seems that the ex-CEO has no desire to remain affiliated with the social media platform.

As you can probably see, Twitter is having a bit of a rough time so far. In addition, Elon Musk has decided to once again voice his concerns in… well, in the form of a tweet, of course. He responded today to a tweet about the aforementioned misrepresentation of what users’ data is used for, stating that he finds the findings “very worrying news.”

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