Twitter confesses to illegally using users phone numbers and emails

There has been a lot of news going round in recent times about privacy or data breaches by social media platforms and mobile applications. The latest is Twitter’s data breach, albeit unknowingly.

The social media tendered an apology after accidentally using phone numbers and email addresses for advertising contrary to the reason why the personal data were provided – for the user’s account security.

Normally, users provide their phone numbers and email addresses as part of the requirements during the signing in process of Twitter which allows account authentication in case of forgotten password or hacked accounts. These details are supposed to be kept private, however, Twitter has confessed that the details were matched with advertisers’ data to enable targeted ads.


In an online post, Twitter said, “When you provide an email address or phone number for safety or security purposes, this data may have inadvertently been used for advertising purposes. This was an error and we apologize. We’re very sorry this happened and are taking steps to make sure we don’t make a mistake like this again.”

It is unclear how many people were affected as well as how users’ data got out because none of the users’ data was shared with partners outside the company.

What you should know: With tech giants like Twitter and Facebook under scrutiny from various regulators in recent times, privacy and internet data have become hot political topics worldwide. This scrutiny is sending signals social media platforms to employ better data practices which will lead to safe operations and in turn business growth so as not to be continually caught in the web of breaches and probes.

Twitter was founded in 2006 and is known for the posts and interactions by users popularly known as tweets. The tweets were restricted to only 140 characters until 2017 when the limit was doubled to 280

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