Authorities accuse the platform of deceiving its users between 2013 and 2019 by using their personal data to help companies send them targeted advertising.
The US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday, May 25 that it had reached an agreement with Twitter which provides for a fine of 150 million dollars (140 million euros) and obligations for the social network to better respect the confidentiality of personal information.
Authorities accuse the platform of deceiving its users from 2013 to 2019 by hiding that it was using their personal data to help companies send them targeted advertising.
The department’s complaint mentions in particular the collection of telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for the stated purpose of securing access to accounts. “But they also used this data to target users with ads,” said Lina M. Khan, the president of the American Competition Authority (FTC), quoted in the press release from the ministry. “This practice has affected more than 140 million Twitter users and helped increase the main source of income” of the Californian group, she added.
Twitter confirmed in a press release that it had paid this fine and recognized an “incident”: “Certain email addresses and telephone numbers provided for security purposes may have been inadvertently used for advertising purposes”, detailed Damien Kieran, privacy officer. The San Francisco-based company said it had “fixed the problem” in September 2019.
Elon Musk is offensive, the action flies away
At the same time, Elon Musk raised $33.5 billion the amount contributed directly by the entrepreneur and his partners for the takeover of Twitter, further lowering the amount borrowed from banks.
The chief executive of Tesla, who had initially subscribed for 25.5 billion in credits, lowered his loans to 13 billion dollars, according to a document registered on Wednesday by the United States Authority (SEC), which considerably lightens his load financial.
After the announcement, the action of the bluebird group soared in trading after the close of Wall Street, the title taking more than 5%. At the beginning of May, several existing shareholders of Twitter had already agreed to contribute their shares to the operation and thus remain a minority within the capital once the company is delisted. On Wednesday, the SpaceX founder announced that he had received new direct commitments, which allowed him to reduce the number of loans taken out for the acquisition by an additional 6.25 billion.
He did not specify whether this amount came, in whole or in part, from his personal assets, or whether other investors had joined him.