Twitter was fined $ 150 million on Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department as part of a settlement against misleading users of handling personal data.
Twitter told users that it was collecting email addresses and phone numbers to protect their accounts, but it wasn’t used as information to help marketers target ads. .. The agency said.. Misunderstanding behavior lasted for at least six years from 2013 to 2019, officials said.
under settlementRequires federal court approval, but Twitter did not admit cheating.
“The $ 150 million fine reflects the seriousness of Twitter’s allegations, and the substantive new compliance measures imposed as a result of today’s settlement are further misleading tactics that threaten user privacy. Helps prevent, “Vanita Gupta, Under Secretary of Justice, said in a statement.
Regulators have been scrutinizing corporate privacy practices in recent years. 2019, FTC fined Facebook $ 5 billion In a settlement regarding a breach related to the voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica. This year, the agency settled with a company formerly known as a weight watcher to create an app that collects data from young people. FTC also states that it is considering creating new rules to control how businesses collect and use data online.
Twitter has previously wrestled with FTC for privacy. In March 2011, the company resolved allegations that hackers were unable to protect users’ personal information after two 2009 breaches that took control of Twitter.Under that settlementThe company has agreed not to mislead consumers about how they protect their privacy over the next 20 years. Twitter also said it would conduct regular security audits.
According to the FTC and the Department of Justice, Twitter violated these terms by using personal information for advertising targeting provided by users for security purposes.
“Keeping your data safe and respecting your privacy is something we take very seriously, and we’ve worked with FTC at every stage,” said Damien Kieran, Twitter’s Chief Privacy Officer. States as follows. statement.. Twitter disclosed the issue in 2019 and stopped using security information for advertising, Kieran added.
The settlement occurs when a social media company engages in a turbulent acquisition from Elon Musk, the wealthiest person in the world. last month, Twitter accepted Mr. Musk’s $ 44 billion bid Make your company private. But in the last few weeks, Mr. Musk cast suspicion During trading Twitter has moved forward To complete it.
On Wednesday, Mr. Musk disclosed In filing He boosted his personal financial commitment to Twitter transactions and is now planning to donate $ 33.5 billion to the acquisition price, either from his own funds or in collaboration with other Twitter shareholders.
The original funding plan included a $ 21 billion stake in Mr. Musk and a $ 12.5 billion bank loan secured by Mr. Musk’s stake in his electric car maker Tesla. .. Loans had already been cut in half earlier this month as Tesla’s stock fell in market turmoil and Mr. Musk secured equity commitments from other investors.
In a filing Wednesday, Musk said the entire loan was “finished” and relied even more on additional equity. Twitter stocks rose 6% in after-hours trading. This is because investors have interpreted the move as a sign that Mr. Musk is not leaving the deal.
During the filing, Mr. Musk also said he was in talks with other Twitter shareholders. Jack DorseyAbout passing on existing shares to the merged company, instead of receiving payment for the shares, after the transaction is completed, the founder of the company. If Mr. Dorsey or any other particular shareholder does so, it may reduce Mr. Musk’s personal promises and financial risk to him.