A malfunction in Twitter’s advertising system allowed advertisers to gain access to e-mail addresses and phone numbers provided by users for safety and security purposes.
On October 8, Twitter admitted that it used e-mail addresses and phone numbers provided by users to protect their accounts for its targeted advertising. Thus, if a user, for example, set up two-factor identification, he or she would also be getting targeted ads. Company representatives claim that it has happened inadvertently.
When promoting ads on Twitter, the platform provides for the filtering of users across various parameters. By mistake, the advertising systems of Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences, included, among other parameters, user phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
The developers rectified the mistake on September 17. The company said that other user data were not compromised, but there is no way to say exactly how many users had been affected by the bug.
Facebook had a similar problem last year. However, it was not a mistake that time: the social network intentionally used user data to display tailored ads.
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