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Bug causes Twitter data breach

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A bug is said to be behind a recent Twitter data breach incident that has led to the location data for users being accidentally shared with a third-party.

This isn’t the first bug that’s led to a data breach for the popular social media platform. Just last year, 330 million users were advised to change their passwords after a bug potentially exposed them in plain text. News of this latest breach also comes at a time where Facebook and data protection incidents feel like they’re becoming the norm.

Once again we’re left wondering whether our data will ever be safe. There’s just so much information out there that’s being collected and shared about us, and when things go wrong, data breaches can easily occur.

About the recent Twitter data breach

The Twitter data breach was announced via a blog post on the social media giant’s website where they explained what had happened. It’s understood that a bug resulted in some users’ location data being shared with a third-party by accident.

Their blog post states;

“We have discovered that we were inadvertently collecting and sharing iOS location data with one of our trusted partners in certain circumstances.

Specifically, if you used more than one account on Twitter for iOS and opted into using the precise location feature in one account, we may have accidentally collected location data when you were using any other account(s) on that same device for which you had not turned on the precise location feature.”

There has been another one as well…

The blog post announcing the Twitter data breach actually goes on to report information of another incident as well that also involves location data.

The post explains that they were supposed to remove location data from some fields that were sent to a “trusted partner” for an advertising process known as “real-time bidding”. However, the removal of the location data didn’t appear to work as planned.

What happens now?

The bugs and issues that have led to the Twitter data breach incidents have reportedly been fixed, and users who have been affected are being notified.

The company has also apologised, saying:

“We’re very sorry this happened. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us and are committed to earning that trust every day.”

But it remains a concern that such a large social media platform could accidentally leak data as valuable and as sensitive as location data. Facebook has been in the media a lot lately for data breach incidents, and these kinds of social media data issues are concerning.

The wealth of personal information social media platforms hold, and the value of the data they process, can be substantial. Any data protection incident involving big names like Twitter is always a worry.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Matthew on May 20, 2019
Posted in the following categories: Cybersecurity Security Social Networking and tagged with | | | | |


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