Twitter inadvertently collected and shared users’ location data on iOS

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Credit: https://twitter.com/TwitterSupport/status/1127988150125514753

Another week, another bug—this time it is Twitter that has just announced that it had inadvertently collected and shared the location data of its users on iOS. We have had issues like this with Facebook on so many occasions lately that we are beginning to lose count. The microblogging platform announced on Monday that a bug had allowed the location data of users on the iOS version of its app to be shared with one of its partners—name unknown.

Twitter took to its Help page to provide a more detailed explanation of what may have led to the leak. The company said if you have more than one account for iOS and opted to use the precise location feature in one account, your location data may have been accidentally collected. This, according to Twitter’s report, may have occurred while you were using any other account(s) on the same device for which you had not turned on the precise location feature.” The social media giant said. “Separately, we had intended to remove location data from the fields sent to a trusted partner during an advertising process known as real-time bidding. This removal of location did not happen as planned.”

Twitter as usual said it the issue has been taken care of, and technical measures implemented to “fuzz” the shared data so that it was no more precise than zip code or city [5km squared].

This location data could not be used to determine an address or to map your precise movements. The partner did not receive data such as your Twitter handle or other unique account IDs that could have compromised your identity on Twitter. This means that for people using Twitter for iOS who we inadvertently collected location information from, we may also have shared that information with a trusted advertising partner.

While Twitter said the data shared was not retained by the unnamed partner, the problem is this may affect the relationship with millions of users out there. We are often faced with this type of issue week-in-week-out.

Facebook is still battling to regain the trust and confidence of its users due to previous issues that bother on privacy. Today, one of the most topical issues is how to break up Facebook, which is seen as one of the ways to make it more proactive when it comes to protecting user data.

About a year ago, Facebook’s harmer came down heavily on around 200 apps for misusing user data. This came on the heels of the company’s promise to conduct a full-scale investigation into the Cambridge Analytical data scandal. The scandal you would recall swept through the internet like a tornado; but Facebook had since been making some sweeping changes.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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