What Twitter's Privacy Update Means for You

Faith Castro
May 19, 2017

The move comes as the company reels from its first quarterly revenue drop since going public. "They help advertisers and prospective customers or people who have already expressed an interest in their businesses". Basically, whenever you click on a link that is embedded in a tweet, that data gets stored by Twitter to make suggestions based on those selections.

To access this information, go to Settings and Privacy Accounts Your Twitter data Your data on mobile, or Settings and privacy Your Twitter data on the website.

Despite the fact that Twitter was a vocal support of Do Not Track, they will no longer honor requests from the service. Twitter says, "This will allow us to further improve and personalise our services, connecting you with the stories, brands and organic content you care about most".

The short answer is money.

However, Twitter still struggles to attract advertisers on the same level as the giants of Facebook and Google, scuppering its attempts to find an eager buyer.

You can choose whether Twitter reads your interests, the apps on your phone, the devices you use, or the places you've been to tailor the adverts on your timeline. Google and Facebook will command a combined $110 billion of this.

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"We're really proud to report accelerating growth and daily active usage ... up 14%, year-over-year", Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told investors on an earnings call, last month.

That depends on whom you ask. Twitter, however, points out that the data will be shared through some select partnership agreements "only when a user gives consent to those partners". In a pop-up notification telling users of the change, Twitter chirps that you will "soon start to see more relevant Tweets and ads based on your visits to sites with Twitter content". Here you'll also be able to see how many "Tailored audiences" you're a part of and how many of those are from advertisers.

Fear not, though, fellow paranoid, because it's easier than ever to manage your privacy settings in Twitter.

"Twitter's announcement is bad news for online privacy".

Nonetheless, Twitter, as a company, is more upfront about this practice than most and is providing an option to disable targeted ads, and a section where users can edit and even remove the data Twitter has collected in the past. This is where you can make changes to whether Twitter can gather certain information about you as a user. Besides achieving your dreams of finally living in a tiny flat in Paris with a stray cat named Gaston and a mustached baker named Olivier, you will also have stronger online privacy protections. To do so, head to your account page, open Settings and go to Settings and privacy Privacy and safety Personalization and data.

This will take you through to your "Personalisation and data" settings, allowing you to control how Twitter collects and uses your information.

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