Ahh social media and their never-ending need to make money – honestly, we don’t fault them for wanting to monetize the service; it’s the way they go about doing is the thing that’s up for debate.
Here’s where things get hairy – Twitter was recently caught using users’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses, which are uploaded for security reasons, to push targeted ads to us. Social media gathers information from our profiles as well as clicking habits to push targeted ads to us – we know that, but this takes things way too far.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter allows advertisers to upload a customer list which the company will use to pair with their personal contact information – but Twitter accidentally provided information that was supposed to be used for security and authentication reasons, to these companies via the Tailored Audiences system. Tailored Audiences supposedly only matches email addresses and Twitter usernames, not phone numbers.
The Twitter has since apologized for the error, however didn’t disclose how many users were affected. It seems like the error was an honest mistake, but you never know with social media brands these days. Plus, there’s really no way to protect yourself from errors like these if you choose to use that social media platform anyway.