Twitter discloses how it shares data with Facebook and Google for ads
Twitter updated its privacy policies, notifying users how it will share data with marketing partners, including Facebook and Google. Twitter also changed privacy controls that affect how people give their permission for the collection of data used to measure the effectiveness of ads served on its platform.
Twitter users began seeing the advisory about new privacy terms this week, which outlines the ways the company gleans data from visitors to its sites and apps, and uses it to advertise on outside platforms like Facebook.
"Twitter shares certain non-public personal information with certain digital advertising platforms to help measure and optimize the effectiveness of our efforts to market Twitter on those platforms,” Twitter said in the privacy update.
Twitter specified that it shares IP addresses and advertising device IDs to target ads on Facebook and Google ad platforms. The inclusion of Facebook appears to represent a new course in Twitter’s advertising strategy. Until recently, Twitter did not run app-install campaigns on rival Facebook to grow its user base.
Twitter declined to comment for this story beyond its privacy announcement online.
Twitter outlined the data it would use to target ads online, and said it would not share usernames, email addresses or phone numbers with partners like Facebook or Google.
The company also said it has separate policies in Europe and the U.K. It does not share user data with Facebook and Google in Europe, according to the policy update. Europe operates under the General Data Protection Regulation, which dictates how companies share data, get permission from users and disclose their practices. The U.S. does not have a corresponding federal law, but laws in states like California have adopted similar data-sharing rules.
Twitter has not faced the same level of scrutiny as rivals Facebook and Google during recent privacy debates that have played out in Europe and the U.S., but that doesn't mean it has been immune from the glare.
This year, the Norwegian Consumer Council released a security study that found Twitter’s mobile advertising network MoPub was transmitting personal data from apps like Grindr. The report forced Twitter to suspend Grindr from MoPub.
Also, last year, Twitter disclosed a series of privacy missteps around how it shares data to measure ads. The latest privacy policies reflect how the company has been making changes to account for those lapses.
Last year’s disclosures showed Twitter shared data with marketing partners even when a user had not given permission. The new update says Twitter no longer needs permission to share data necessary for ad measurement.
Facebook and Google have both updated privacy policies to control how advertisers import data into their platforms to ensure marketing partners use clean data-collection practices if they want to use that information to target users on their services. Responsible data collection includes being transparent with users about those practices.
As for advertising on Facebook, Twitter has been running sponsored messages there, according to a search of Facebook Ads Library, which shows active ad campaigns.
Facebook did not immediately respond to comment to requests for comment. But in the past Facebook had unwritten policies that blocked certain advertisers when it considered them a threat to its business.