Twitter has come clean stating they have inappropriately used phone numbers that users provided for security purposes (like two-factor authentication) to target ads. The phone numbers and email addresses provided have been used in the past to target ads to tailored audiences.
The company admits that they may have matched the advertiser’s marketing list with people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number provided by users. It is not yet certain how many people were impacted by this error although the company says they had to make everyone aware of this mistake.
If we have to follow whatever the company states, they cleared the air stating that “no personal data was ever shared externally with our partners or any other third parties.”
The company says they already addressed the matter and as from September 17th, phone numbers or email addresses collected for safety or security purposes were no longer being used for advertisement purposes.
“This was an error and we apologize,” the company stated in a blog post.
It is not the first time Twitter has ramped its users into problems though. Last year in May, Twitter advised all of its users to change passwords after a password bug that stored passwords in plain text. At that time, the company stated that no information was breached or misused.