It’s always amusing to see huge companies apologize for “bugs” which have freely stolen user information for a while. The latest “bug” opened up a lot of questions about the Twitter privacy levels.
Due to a bug in Twitter for iOS, we inadvertently collected and shared location data (at the zip code or city level). We have fixed the bug, but we wanted to make sure we shared more of the context around this with you. More here: https://t.co/n04LNt62Sa
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 13, 2019
The biggest problem is not that the “bug” was collecting location information from users without their consent. All social media giants do that, whether we like it or not. The biggest problem is that the collected information was sent somewhere and Twitter never really disclosed where.
According to Engadget, this “bug” wasn’t really spread throughout the entire web. It seemed to only affect users who were simultaneously logged into more than one Twitter account on the social media’s iOS app.
The Twitter privacy was thrown out the window since the “bug” apparently targeted anyone with the location feature. If the feature was turned on in one account, the other had its data stolen as well. Where the location information went is of course, a complete mystery.
Allegedly, the support team’s first action was to try and remove the “bug” by removing the location data from the information that was send to one of its ad partners. Needless to say, that brilliant idea didn’t work because the precise location couldn’t be revealed due to Twitter masking the location to a 5km-squared area.
Twitter privacy is quickly becoming a meme
The company quickly stated that Twitter privacy is not an issue and no usernames or personal details that compromise user identity were “stolen”. Twitter continued to dig itself into a bigger hole when they shared that the ad partner only stored the information for a “limited amount of time”. According to Twitter, the data-handling procedures resulted in a very quick deletion of the information.
This is by no means the first time anything like this has happened with Twitter. This is the 4th “bug” which magically transfers user information out of the platform. Twitter privacy however, is just a small drop in the ocean.
All of the mega corporations like Google, Amazon and Facebook have been doing this openly for years. Data mishandling has been found multiple times and multiple platforms and the answers they give are never satisfying.
Mega corporations always seem to be treated differently by law enforcement. A privacy scandal or leak which will ruin a huge percentage of the smaller companies gets swept under the rug and disappears in a few days if its about either Google, Facebook or Amazon.
If the companies who can hire the best tech developers in the world supposedly cannot fix their security issues, then we’re all in for a ride. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of the population uses the services of these giants daily and everyone should start to live with the fact that your information is not yours anymore.
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