Twitter took a big step backward in its efforts to protect user privacy, eliminating user control over data used for advertising.
In an announcement that started showing up when users logged on, Twitter said the goal of the change was to help it continue as a free service. The announcement read:
An update to your data-sharing settings
The control you have over what information Twitter shares with its business partners has changed. Specifically, your ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed, but you can control whether to share some non-public data to improve Twitter’s marketing activities on other sites and apps. These changes, which help Twitter to continue operating as a free service, are reflected now in your settings.
The move is disappointing for users who value their privacy, although users in the European Union are unaffected by the change. Thanks to the EU’s GDPR, companies are required by law to give users control over their own data and how it is used.
After Twitter’s announcement, it won’t be surprising if there are renewed calls for GDPR-style legislation in the U.S.