By CCN: If we were given a dollar every time a tech behemoth “inadvertently” shared our data, we’d be as rich as their CEOs. Twitter is the latest to fess up about an oopsie, drawing more attention and questions about this disturbing trend among tech giants.
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
Before the fix, the bug was collecting and sharing users’ location data. As noted by Engadget, the bug affected people who were logged into more than one account on Twitter’s iOS app.
People who had activated the precise location feature on the app were particularly vulnerable. Worse, if users activated the feature on one account and not the other, Twitter’s bug didn’t discriminate. It allowed Twitter to collect location data from the other account, too.
But for Twitter employees who discovered the bug, it would still be wreaking havoc.
Twitter Ad Partners Cited As Possible Culprit
Twitter tried to kill the bug by pulling location data from the information it sends to one of its advertising partners, but that didn’t work as planned, according to Engadget. It found that precise location data was not revealed. That’s because it was masked by Twitter down to a 5 kilometer-squared area. The social media giant told Engadget that it didn’t receive usernames or other details that could have compromised anyone’s identity.
This doesn’t mean that the company didn’t share location data that it wasn’t supposed to have collected with that partner, according to Engadget.
As if this was something to smile about, Twitter proclaimed that the ad partner only stored the information for a “short time before deleting it as part of the company’s normal data-handling procedures.”
This is the fourth time the company has found a bug on its platform, according to a Fox Business broadcast Tuesday morning.
TWTR shares are down approximately 4% over the last five-day period.
Folks who were affected by this particular bug may have been contacted. Twitter says it didn’t retain the information. It’s best to contact Twitter if you worry.
However, at the end of the day, does it matter?
Facebook, Amazon, and Google have all come under fire for mishandling user data information. The responses have been lackadaisical and even offensive. CCN reported that these mishaps beg the question of how these companies, supposedly staffed by the brightest tech minds around, can’t shore up their systems to avoid breaches?
If you use any of them, you’re to just know that sh** happens. Either live under a rock, avoiding such technology, or deal with it.