Read X’s new privacy policy for you.

Read X's new privacy policy for you.

Twitter’s Privacy Policy: What You Need to Know

Twitter, or should we say X, has recently introduced a new privacy policy, and we’re here to break it down for you. With its transformation into an “everything app” under Elon Musk’s ownership, it’s crucial to understand how using X impacts your privacy. So, let’s dive in and explore the key changes and concerns in their latest policy update.

A New Name, A New Privacy Policy

As most of you may already know, Twitter has undergone a rebranding and is now known as X. This shift aligns with Musk’s vision of turning Twitter into a comprehensive platform for various activities, including chatting, blogging, sharing videos, making calls, personal finance, and more. With such a significant transformation, updates to the app’s terms and conditions, as well as the privacy policy, were inevitable.

Comparing Old and New Privacy Policies

Old Privacy Policy (Current): Still in effect until Sept. 29, 2023.
New Privacy Policy (X Privacy Policy): Goes into effect on September 29, 2023.

Thankfully, both the current and new privacy policies are available online, allowing users to compare them. However, the process of comparing them side-by-side or using automated tools can be cumbersome. Unfortunately, the old policy is only available for download in PDF format.

What’s Different in X’s Privacy Policy?

With the transition from Twitter to X, some noticeable changes have been made in the privacy policy. For instance, references to “Twitter” have been replaced with “X,” and “tweets” are now referred to as “posts.” Additionally, all mentions of “Periscope,” the defunct streaming video feature, have been removed from the policy.

While these changes may seem cosmetic, there are some intriguing and potentially concerning updates hidden within the legal jargon of the policy. Decrypting these updates and understanding their implications is essential.

One notable addition is a statement in the “Sharing Information” section, mentioning that X may share user information with “applicant tracking system providers to send and receive applicant and job data to potential employers.” This implies a potential integration of X with a forthcoming job listings platform.

Another noteworthy addition is a paragraph clarifying that the X Privacy Policy is originally written in English and translated into other languages. However, in case of any inconsistencies, the English version takes precedence.

Furthermore, X includes a sentence under the “Objecting to, Restricting, or Withdrawing your Consent” section, indicating that users may need to manage additional privacy settings when interacting with specific features on the platform. This implies that managing privacy settings solely through the platform’s account settings might not be sufficient, necessitating deeper exploration.

Privacy Concerns to Consider

Now, let’s address the elements in X’s new policy that may raise concerns among users. Firstly, in the “Usage Information” section, X mentions the collection of metadata related to Encrypted Messages. While it’s understandable that some metadata is necessary, X should strive to collect the least amount possible. For comparison, privacy-centric chat app Signal’s policy illustrates a more minimal approach to metadata collection. X would benefit from providing additional clarity on the type of metadata they retain.

The key concern arises from the usage of the information X collects. While the policy states that the information collected is used to provide products, services, and enhance security, it lacks specific details on which types of information are utilized for each purpose. This ambiguity was also present in the old privacy policy. The addition of encrypted message metadata, introduced in May, still falls short in terms of feature offerings.

Another point of consideration is a new sentence in the policy, indicating that X may use the collected information, along with publicly available data, to train machine learning and artificial intelligence models. This aligns with a growing trend observed among tech companies, such as Zoom and Google, where user data contributes to AI development. However, users should have the option to opt-out and determine the scope of data sharing for AI purposes.

Arguably the most alarming aspect of the new policy is X’s potential collection and use of users’ biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes. However, it’s worth noting that X claims this would only occur with users’ consent, hopefully providing the ability to entirely opt out.

Lastly, X states that it may collect and utilize personal information, including employment history, educational background, employment preferences, skills, job search activity, and engagement. This data would serve to recommend potential jobs, facilitate applications, assist employers in finding candidates, and deliver relevant advertising.

The Bottom Line – What This Means for Your Data

To summarize, X’s new privacy policy introduces significant changes, including the collection of employment and educational history, biometric data, and the utilization of this information to train AI models. As users, it’s crucial to be aware of how your data will be handled before voluntarily sharing it with X.

While the policy raises concerns about the transparency of data usage, it’s promising to note that X’s policy is subject to user consent. By assessing the implications and understanding your control over data sharing, you can make informed decisions about your privacy on X.