Twitter was hard at work on Thanksgiving. While most were eating turkey and enjoying the day with family, or working if that were the case, the micro-blogging company once again changed the terms and conditions of their mobile app. Twitter also launched a support page which contains a summary and goes into fairly explicit detail talking about what the app will be doing moving forward. The new plan is that the Twitter app installed on your iOS or Android device will be reporting back to the company, letting them know what individual users download.
The aim, according to the company, is to bring a better overall experience. However, trained minds in the tech space know better than that. Twitter will be collecting that data to better advertise to their users. Essentially, this is a targeting update that will give Twitter the data to better target advertisements at their users based on the apps that they have installed, or frequently use.
This move though shouldn’t be all that surprising because it’s one that a lot of social networks have been doing. Companies and government agencies like Facebook, Google and NSA have been using this tactic for a long time. First, the company determines who is using what specific applications. Once the company understands that they take the information, and they sell it to the relevant company. Whether that’s a dating application or a productivity application – the company purchases the space to have advertisements pushed through to those users. Whereas, NSA-like agencies use such tracking data for security purposes and share it with government for forming foreign policies. Ultimately, Twitter cashes in, and the companies that are utilizing the advertising platform are – in theory – getting a higher-quality customer to advertise to. One that is more likely to actually take advantage of the advertisement, or be more impacted by it.
However, Twitter is explicit in the fact that they say that users will not have to worry about their data or information from within other applications to be up for grabs. Instead, the company will strictly track the names of the apps that are downloaded – and that will be the extent of it.
That is enough though to make a lot of users uncomfortable and for good reason with the amount of security flaws that are present every day on the Internet. On Android going to your settings, selecting “other” and then deselecting “Tailor Twitter based on my apps.” Apple devices are just as simple, just go to your settings, touch “Twitter,” and then “Privacy.” Once here, turn off the option that says “Tailor Twitter based on my apps.”
While the shutdown is not difficult, it is something that many users will surely find annoying – since data collection by Internet companies is something that everyone is growing tired of pretty quickly.
Here is how to turn this feature off and remove your data from Twitter