Twitter used email and phone data from two-factor authentication to target advertising

Anne Freier

In App Business. October 11, 2019

Twitter just admitted that it used email and phone numbers provided by users for two-factor authentication to target ads.

Two-factor authentication is a security measure the company provides to help secure accounts, but apparently the user data made it onto some Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences lists.

Tailored Audiences is “an industry-standard product that allows advertisers to target ads to customers based on the advertiser’s own marketing lists (e.g., email addresses or phone numbers they have compiled).

Meanwhile, Partner Audiences enable advertisers to utilise the “same Tailored Audiences features to target ads to audiences provided by third-party partners.”

Twitter said that it accidentally may have matched user phone numbers and their email to Twitter, but that this was an error.

The mistake was apparently corrected as of September 17th.

The microblogging site said it was unable to provide exact numbers on how many people had been affected.

It ascertained that no personal data had been shared with partners or third-parties.

In light of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, social media companies have come under scrutiny to ensure data privacy for their users.