Twitter says user data meant for security purposes may have gone to advertisers
Twitter Inc. said on Tuesday email addresses and phone numbers uploaded by users to meet its security requirements may have been "inadvertently" used for advertising purposes.
The micro-blogging site said that it did not share personal data with advertisers or other third parties, and the issue was rectified as of September 17, without disclosing how many users were impacted.
"This was an error and we apologize," the company said in a blog post.
Social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have faced heat from users and regulators globally on how their platforms handle user data.
Facebook settled with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year over its privacy missteps. In addition to a five-billion-U.S.-dollar fine, the settlement included limits on how Facebook shares data with third parties.
Facebook also agreed not to use phone numbers given for security purposes to advertise to people.
Twitter said when advertisers uploaded their marketing lists, it may have matched people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number the Twitter account holder provided.