“This practice has affected more than 140 million Twitter users, while boosting Twitter’s main source of revenue,” FTC President Lina Khan said in a statement.
Twitter said Wednesday that the use of personal information for ads was “careless” and that the incident was first revealed in 2019.
In its alleged misconduct, Twitter only told users that their phone numbers and emails were used for account security purposes, but did not mention the ad, according to a copy of the complaint seen by CNN.
“From at least May 2013 to at least September 2019, Twitter referred to its online communications users the extent to which it maintained and protected the security and confidentiality of their non-public communications,” the complaint said.
“Twitter’s false statements violate the FTC Act and the 2011 Decree, which specifically prohibits the company from making false statements about the security of non-public consumer information,” the complaint said.
In addition to the $ 150 million fine, the new proposed agreement between Twitter and the FTC to settle Wednesday’s allegations also barred the company from taking advantage of what the FTC described as “misleading data” and allowing outside authentication methods. from phone numbers. , such as multi-factor authentication applications. The company should also inform users of its failure to disclose its alleged practice of using contact information for advertising purposes.
Wednesday’s settlement must be approved by the court.