TWITTER HAS ADMITTED to accidentally revealing details of user locations to an advertising partner, against all its own rules and regulations.
The leak, caused by a bug at Twitter's end meant that in certain conditions, location data was being shared, even for users that weren't signed up to the service.
Affected users are being notified - those involved are iOS users with more than one account tied to their app. In these cases, if one account had opted into sharing, but the other was not, the excluded account could send data gathered by the included account.
Twitter has always made the location sharing feature strictly optional, and is understandably a bit egg-faced as a result of this little bork:
Due to a bug in Twitter for iOS, we inadvertently collected and shared location data (at the zip code or city level). We have fixed the bug, but we wanted to make sure we shared more of the context around this with you. More here: https://t.co/n04LNt62Sa— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 13, 2019
Users affected have also been informed by email.
Once such data is collected, it is shared with the highest bidding advertising partner (Twitter hasn't said which one) to target their wares.
The shared data isn't pinpoint accurate - it covers the City and zip code, so it's accurate to within about four square miles. It's also important to note that the data didn't tie the location to the Twitter handle - advertisers only knew they were targeting the right people, not their identities.
It's also worth knowing that it's not known what time period was involved, so the only way you'll know you got hit is if you get an email.
Twitter adds: "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."
It then goes on to remind people to check their privacy settings are everything they hoped they'd be. Wise counsel, always. μ
And it'll even undo the damage
Affected employees have 60 days to find a new home at the company
Doesn't inspire confidence in HongMeng's appeal
But don't get too excited if you've already got one