Twitter has agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations by the
Twitter’s use of the phone numbers breached a 2011 consent decree with the FTC in which the social media platform agreed to better protect users’ personal data, according to a complaint filed by the Justice Department on behalf of the agency. The complaint also alleges that Twitter falsely claimed it had complied with user privacy protections under EU-US data transfer agreements.
The FTC lacks the authority to fine companies for a first violation, but can impose penalties for subsequent privacy breaches.
The social media company joins
“Keeping data secure and respecting privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we have cooperated with the FTC every step of the way,” Damien Kieran, chief privacy officer at Twitter, said in a blog post. The company has “aligned with the agency on operational updates and program enhancements to ensure that people’s personal data remains secure and their privacy protected,” he said.
Twitter’s settlement comes as billionaire
Twitter’s 2011 settlement with the FTC barred the company for 20 years from “misleading consumers about the extent to which it protects the security, privacy, and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information.” That agreement sprang from a 2009 hack of the social media platform that allowed intruders to send out phony messages from any account, among other issues.
From at least May 2013 until at least September 2019, Twitter misrepresented to users of its online communication service the extent to which it maintained and protected the security and privacy of their nonpublic contact information, according to the complaint.
(Updates with comments from company in the fifth paragraph.)
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