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Twitter reportedly looking into forced location tracking

Twitter Blue users will be exempt from the company’s plans.

twitter logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

A new report says that Twitter wants users to opt-in to personalized ads or lose access to the social media site.

Twitter is hurting for money under its new management. The ongoing staff reductions and moderation tool rollbacks have made advertisers run for the hills.

Now, the company is working on forcing users to opt-in to share personal and location data with advertisers (via Platformer). Users can only opt out by paying the monthly fee for Twitter Blue.

Once live, the app will ask users for permission to access location data and phone numbers.

Twitter recently paid the FTC a $150 million fine for misusing phone numbers used for two-factor authentication.

That fine was for giving 2FA phone numbers to advertisers for targeted advertising purposes. You know, the same thing this report says Twitter is planning to do again.

We can’t imagine the FTC is happy about this news. It will set the company and CEO Elon Musk up for another legal battle.

Twitter is cruising for some lawsuits

elon musk in front of twitter icon
Image: KnowTechie

Other authorities worldwide will have issues with the plans, as well. The European Union has laws stating that users can withdraw from data-sharing anytime.

It also seems to be against the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

That statute says Californian residents can opt out at any time. It also says they can’t be discriminated against for exercising their rights.

Blocking access to Twitter without opting into advertising data sharing likely violates both points.

If opting out of data sharing becomes a feature of Twitter Blue, Apple will take issue. App Store rules state apps can’t force users to share data or pay up.

Apple’s new privacy rules also mean apps can’t track users across different apps if they opt out. We’ll have to wait and see if the company goes through with this plan.

Have any thoughts on this? Carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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