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Twitter accidentally shared user data with advertisers

(Image credit: Image Credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock)

Twitter unintentionally shared user location data with a third party, on two separate occasions, but fixed the issue relatively fast.

Announcing the news in a blog post (opens in new tab), the company said a bug in its systems resulted in the collection and sharing of location data of certain iOS users.

“If you used more than one account on Twitter for iOS and opted into using the precise location feature in one account, we may have accidentally collected location data when you were using any other account(s) on that same device for which you had not turned on the precise location feature,” the company explained.

In a separate incident, the company said its advertising process, real-time bidding, has location data that usually gets deleted before the rest of the intel gets sent to ‘a trusted partner’. This time, the removal ‘did not happen as planned’, but Twitter managed to scramble the data in a way that makes it impossible to pinpoint the exact location, or handle, of the user.

The third party received data about user locations in a five-kilometre radius.

“This location data could not be used to determine an address or to map your precise movements,” it was added.

The data itself was not used by the unnamed third party, and was subsequently deleted from the systems. Twitter apologised for the incident, saying it also started notifying affected users about the data leak.

Image Credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.