The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Twitter for misusing user data and other privacy violations to serve ads, the bread and butter of almost the entire internet industry. In case the Twitter is indeed found guilty, the company can face a fine ranging from $150 million to $250 million.
Twitter, in 2011, signed an agreement with the FTC that stated it was not allowed to mislead people about its privacy and security measures. This agreement was a consequence of an event wherein hackers, on multiple instances, gained access to twitter’s administrative controls.
However, it was found that between 2013 and 2019, Twitter used the mobile numbers it collected from its users for the purpose of two factor authentication to serve ads. The entire matter was disclosed by the company itself in October, when it said that the email address or phone number that users were providing for safety or security purposes “may have inadvertently been used for advertising purposes.” The company called it a mistake, and said that it was working on getting to the depth of the whole issue.
The FTC sent a complaint to Twitter regarding the same on July 28th. Twitter probably understands that this is a battle that it cannot win, has thus, decided to keep aside $150million for the potential fine.
“The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome,” Twitter said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.