Twitter announced today that it will collect more data from its users to be shared with advertisers. The company removed an option from its mobile app that allowed users to control which personal details were sent to Twitter’s business partners.
This data includes information like which ads you saw on the Twitter app, how you interact with them, and even your phone’s identifier tracking. Previously, you could turn off the “share your data with Twitter’s business partners” option in Twitter’s privacy settings, but now it will be enabled by default, and there is no way to disable it.
The company said the data is shared anonymously, without your name, email, phone number, or Twitter username. That way, advertisers can measure the performance of their campaigns precisely. Even so, it seems very controversial to not allow users to have control over what they want to share with third parties.
According to Twitter, these changes were necessary for the social network to continue to operate at no cost for users. Starting today, users will see a message like this when they open Twitter:
The control you have over what information Twitter shares with its business partners has changed. Specifically, your ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed, but you can control whether to share some non-public data to improve Twitter’s marketing activities on other sites and apps. These changes, which help Twitter to continue operating as a free service, are reflected now in your settings.
However, the Verge notes that some specific users will still be able to not share information with Twitter’s business partners. As required by European Union and United Kingdom legislation, apps cannot collect such data without permission from users there. Therefore, these people who want to share data with Twitter voluntarily can opt in for that in the privacy settings.
You can read more about how Twitter shares your personal data with advertisers here.