Oh Oh! Twitter Accidentally Collected And Shared Location Data Of iPhone Users
If you are a Twitter using accessing the platform via your iPhone, the micro-blogging site has some news for you that you shouldn’t ignore. Twitter on Monday announced that a bug affecting its iOS app had accidentally lead to the collection and sharing of iPhone users’ location data with an unnamed partner.
“We have discovered that we were inadvertently collecting and sharing iOS location data with one of our trusted partners in certain circumstances,” Twitter wrote in a blog post.
While that might sound alarming but there is a silver lining to this situation. The bug didn’t affect all Twitter users who were using the company’s iOS-based app. Instead, it affected a small fraction of the Twitter users who had more than one accounts on Twitter’s iOS app and had opted to use the precise location feature in one of the two accounts. The micro-blogging site announced that the bug had lead to the app collecting and sharing of the location data of the other account for which the precise location feature had been turned off.
This means that if you are a Twitter user with a single account using the company’s iOS-based, your location data is safe and you need not worry about the newly discovered bug at all. On the flipside, if you do use your iPhone to access two Twitter accounts, the company said that it has implemented a technical fail safe that “fuzzed” the data “so that it was no more precise than zip code or city (5km squared).” To put it simply, the location data that the bug collected and stored cannot be used to locate your exact address or your movements.
In addition to this, Twitter also assured that the partner that receives the location data did not receive any other information, such as your account ID or your Twitter handle, that would have compromised your identity on Twitter.
“We have confirmed with our partner that the location data has not been retained and that it only existed in their systems for a short time, and was then deleted as part of their normal process,” Twitter added.
Twitter hasn’t named the partner of given details as to when the bug was discovered but it has rolled out an update to fix this issue. So, if you haven’t updated Twitter on your iPhone in a long time, now might be the right time to do so. In addition to this, you can also review your privacy settings to ensure that you are following the best privacy practices on Twitter to safeguard your data.