Twitter is ‘sorry’ that it shared your data and tracked you without permission for over a year

Twitter is ‘sorry’ that it shared your data and tracked you without permission for over a year
  • Twitter admitted that it has been tracking users and collecting user data to share with advertisers even though some users opted out.
  • Twitter admitted its mistake and apologised in a blog post today.
  • The data breach started in May 2018 and went on until August 5 this year.
Even if you have gone to the trouble of telling Twitter not to share your data with advertisers, it’s possible that it was shared anyway.

The social networking giant disclosed that user’s setting choices ‘may not have worked as intended’ in a blog post today. And the issue has been leaking data since May 2018 and was only fixed on August 5.

In return, all Twitter has to offer is an apology. “You trust us to follow your choices and we failed here. We’re sorry this happened, and are taking steps to make sure we don’t make a mistake like this again,” stated Twitter.

Data breach

Twitter didn’t disclose when exactly they became aware of the issue or how many accounts have been affected by the data breach but did say they were conducting an investigation into the extent of the problem.


There are two parts to the data breach. One is tracking which ads actually converted users into buyers and sharing that data with Twitter’s business partners.

The second issue, which has been ongoing since September 2018, allowed Twitter to deliver targeted ads.


Since the data breach has been in play since May 2018, Twitter is obligated to report it as per GDPR guidelines.

The repercussions of this data breach for Twitter will depend on how long the social networking giant was aware of the issue. The data protection laws under the European GDPR will kick in accordingly.

Twitter may not share usernames or Twitter handles but it does share user’s mobile device identifier which the GDPR categorizes as personal data that could help Twitter and its business partners profile users..

The issue of targeted ads is also serious since Twitter uses ‘inferences’ like tracking user devices, IP addresses, and social plug-ins to figure out what they might like.

To rectify the situation, Twitter offers an apology and tells users that all they can really do is check their settings.

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