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Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging social network and is popular among American public figures.


Handling

Does the policy allow personally-targeted or behavioral marketing? Yes, but you can opt-out

3.5/10

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Yes, but you can opt-out3.5/10
Yes, but you must opt-in7/10
No10/10

Citation

"Advertising revenue allows us to support and improve our services. We use the information described in this Privacy Policy to help make our advertising more relevant to you, to measure its effectiveness, and to help recognize your devices to serve you ads on and off of Twitter."

"Twitter adheres to the Digital Advertising Alliance Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising (also referred to as “interest-based advertising”) and respects the DAA’s consumer choice tool for you to opt out of interest-based advertising at https://optout.aboutads.info. In addition, our ads policies prohibit advertisers from targeting ads based on categories that we consider sensitive or are prohibited by law, such as race, religion, politics, sex life, or health. Learn more about your privacy options for interest-based ads here and about how ads work on our services here."

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Does the service allow third-party access to private personal data? Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)

7/10

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This may come in the form of outright data sharing or by using local third-party analytics software (such as Google Analytics, which collects a plethora of user information).

Note that whether the policy allows sharing aggregated user data does not affect this question.

If the personal data is encrypted when it passes through the third-party, it does not count as third-party access (as the data is inaccessible to that party).

If personal data has been made public by, for example, posting it to a blog, it does not count as private personal information (and is therefore not considered by this question).

Possible Options

Yes, not all parties specified0/10
Yes, all parties specified (including non-critical service providers such as advertisers)3/10
Yes, not all parties specified (but only to critical service providers)7/10
Yes, all parties specified (only to critical service providers)8/10
No10/10

Citation

"We engage service providers to perform functions and provide services to us in the United States, Ireland, and other countries. For example, we use a variety of third-party services to help operate our services, such as hosting our various blogs and wikis, and to help us understand the use of our services, such as Google Analytics."

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Does the service allow you to permanently delete your personal data? Yes, using an automated mechanism

5/5

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Even if there is a reasonable delay before the data is fully deleted (as is common), the data still counts as "permanently deleted" and satisfies the parameters for this question.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes, by contacting someone3/5
Yes, using an automated mechanism5/5
N/A (no personal information collected)5/5

Citation

"We keep Log Data for a maximum of 18 months. If you follow the instructions here (or for Periscope here), your account will be deactivated and then deleted. When deactivated, your Twitter account, including your display name, username, and public profile, will no longer be viewable on Twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, and Twitter for Android. For up to 30 days after deactivation it is still possible to restore your Twitter account if it was accidentally or wrongfully deactivated."

"Twitter provides you a means to download the information you have shared through our services by following the steps here. Periscope provides you a means to download the information you have shared through our services by following the steps here."

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When does the policy allow law enforcement access to personal data? When reasonably requested

3/5

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

Always0/5
Not specified0/5
When reasonably requested3/5
Only when required by a court order or subpoena4/5
N/A (no personal data to share)5/5
Never (special legal jurisdiction)5/5

Citation

"Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Privacy Policy or controls we may otherwise offer to you, we may preserve, use, or disclose your personal data if we believe that it is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation, legal process, or governmental request..."

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Transparency

Does the policy require users to be notified in case of a data breach? No

0/7

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 8% of the final score.

Note that all companies operating in the EU are subject to Art. 33 of the GDPR, which requires companies to notify their data protection authority of a data breach within 72 hours of discovering it.

Possible Options

No0/7
Yes, eventually5/7
Yes, within 72 hours7/7
N/A (the service collects so little personal data that notification would not be possible)7/7

Note

The policy does not specify a data breach protocol.

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Is the policy's history made available? Yes, with revisions or a change-log

5/5

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Only the date it was last modified3/5
Yes, with revisions or a change-log5/5

Note

At the bottom of the policy, the last modified date as well as previous policy revisions are available.

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Will the affected users be notified when the policy is meaningfully changed? Yes

5/5

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/5
Yes5/5
N/A (no personal data—or contact information—collected)5/5

Citation

"We may revise this Privacy Policy from time to time. The most current version of the policy will govern our processing of your personal data and will always be at https://twitter.com/privacy. If we make a change to this policy that, in our sole discretion, is material, we will notify you via an @Twitter update or email to the email address associated with your account. By continuing to access or use the Services after those changes become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised Privacy Policy."

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Does the policy outline the service's general security practices? No

0/3

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 4% of the final score.

Possible Options

No0/3
Somewhat1/3
Yes2/3
Yes, including audits2.5/3
N/A (no personal data collected)3/3
Yes, including independent audits3/3

Note

The policy does not mention any security measures Twitter takes to secure its data (though Twitter does _not_ have a history of data breaches).

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Collection

Does the service collect personal data from third parties? Yes

0/10

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This includes the use of data brokers and independent verification authorities (such as background check providers).

Possible Options

Yes0/10
Only for critical data7/10
No10/10

Citation

"We may receive information about you from third parties who are not our ad partners, such as others on Twitter, partners who help us evaluate the safety and quality of content on our platform, our corporate affiliates, and other services you link to your Twitter account."

"Our ad partners and affiliates share information with us such as browser cookie IDs, mobile device IDs, hashed email addresses, demographic or interest data, and content viewed or actions taken on a website or app."

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Does the policy list the personal data it collects? Yes, generally

7/10

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

All general categories of collected personal data are listed, though not all types of personal data are explicitly mentioned (for example, the list might use a phrase like 'such as' when listing types of personal data).

Possible Options

No0/10
Only summarily3/10
Yes, generally7/10
Yes, exhaustively10/10
N/A (no personal information is collected)10/10

Note

While the policy is generally explicit about the data Twitter collects, it nonetheless uses qualifying phrases like "such as" when listing collected data.

Click here to suggest a change or to flag this conclusion as incorrect, or here for more information.


Is it clear why the service collects the personal data that it does? Yes

10/10

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 12% of the final score.

This question deals with transparency. Even if the service uses data for reasons that aren't ideal for privacy, provided they list all of those uses, the service can still receive full credit for this question. However, if they are not explicit about their uses (by employing language like "such as"), a lower score is assigned.

Possible Options

No0/10
Somewhat4/10
Mostly7/10
Yes10/10
No personal data is collected10/10

Note

The policy clearly explains why it collects essentially all data, including data used almost solely for marketing purposes. While the amount of data it collects is not ideal, Twitter is very transparent about it.

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Does the service allow the user to control whether personal data is used or collected for non-critical purposes? On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses

1.5/5

Decided Sept. 5, 2019 (revision history). This question accounts for 6% of the final score.

Some services allow users to opt-out or opt-in to of non-critical collection or use of personal data, such as collecting data for personalized advertisements.

Possible Options

No0/5
On an opt-out basis, but only for some non-critical data/uses1.5/5
On an opt-out basis, for all non-critical data/uses3/5
N/A (no data used for non-critical purposes)5/5
On an opt-in basis5/5

Note

Twitter has relatively comprehensive privacy settings, but Google Analytics monitors users on Twitter regardless of their privacy settings.

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Warnings

Twitter has no warnings published on PrivacySpy. PrivacySpy publishes warnings when it learns a service has announced a data breach or is found misusing user data. If you believe a warning should be published for Twitter, submit one here.


Highlighted Policy Snapshot ALPHA

Highlighted policy snapshots are a highly experimental feature that provide an annotated version of the privacy policy (displayed in a simplified 'reader view') with automatically-generated highlights. This feature is still in its early stages, so apologies if things don't look right!

5.5/10

How we calculate ratings →


Version Added

Sept. 4, 2019

Ratings Updated

Sept. 15, 2019

Warnings

0

Maintained by

Miles

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