It’s time to update your Twitter advert settings

Chris Davies - May 17, 2017
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It’s time to update your Twitter advert settings

You may be the product when you’re using Twitter, but the social network is adding new privacy and advertising settings to help those tweeting adjust who gets their data. Launched today, and joined by an updated Privacy Policy, the suite of new tools will roll out to Twitter users over the next few days. It also allows some insight into what Twitter has decided your interests are.

For a start, there’s a new “Your Twitter Data” section. In addition to showing your contact details – username and ID, your registered email, phone number, when you created your account – it’ll also allow you to dig into the demographic and interest data that is being kept and used by advertisers. That includes places you’ve been and the interests you’ve been flagged as having by your Twitter use, but also what interests have been added by your use of partner services.

Even more in-depth, there’s the ability to see which of the “tailored audiences” you’ve been added to, from which advertisers. Importantly, you can not only see all this data but adjust the settings yourself. For instance, you can choose to turn off advert personalization, cut off any personalization based on partners and location, and choose to not have use of Twitter across multiple devices collated into a single profile.

It’s the latter which might give many pause. When you log into Twitter, the company will associate your device with your profile. That means if you’re logged in on both your work and personal laptops, with the setting enabled, what websites you browse on one will shape the adverts you see on both.

Meanwhile, there are also new partnership agreements. Most of those detail how non-personal, aggregated, and device-level data is shared, but some of Twitter’s deals include name, email, and other personal information “but only when you give your consent to those partners,” the company insists.

As tweets spread more broadly than just being viewed in the official Twitter apps, the company is also adjusting how it collects data from further afield. For instance, when you look at a page with an embedded tweet, Twitter will get some cut of the data involved and will use that to personalize what stories, brands, and other content you see. However, it won’t be applied to those viewing in the European Union and EFTA States. Twitter will also be participating in the Swiss-US Privacy Shield and adhering to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.

You’ll be prompted to check your privacy and advertising settings the next time you log into Twitter. However, you can also jump straight in by heading to the settings section in the app. While you’re there, it’s always a good idea to see what apps and services you’ve granted access to your account.


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