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What you need to know about Twitter's new privacy policy

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

30 May 2017

On June 18th 2017, Twitter’s new privacy policy comes into effect. But what’s new about it, and how will it affect you?

Many online have been critical of what they see as the company’s move away from privacy protection. Let’s look at some of the major changes and the implications for your privacy.

Twitter has abandoned its longstanding commitment to obey the Do Not Track (DNT) browser privacy setting

Despite being one of the first major companies to support DNT, Twitter has now reversed its pledge to obey the privacy setting. The DNT setting is designed to tell websites and services observing the setting that you don’t want to be tracked online.

Instead of DNT, Twitter is implementing a new tracking option and two new targeting options—all of which are set to “track and target” by default.

Twitter will now keep data about users for 30 days instead of 10

The social media platform using tracking cookies to collect and store data about its users; this is how it has worked for some time. However, whereas Twitter used to keep tracking cookies active for only 10 days, that period will now be extended to 30 days. This greatly increases the pool of data it can collect and the profiles it can build from that.

So what can you do to protect your privacy while using Twitter?

Unfortunately, these changes do seem to signal a move away from the company’s previous dedication to protecting the privacy of its users (while keeping the platform public). While the best method to protect your privacy is always to opt-out of services that track you online, there are still some things you can do to take your privacy back into your hands.

You can still turn off Ad Personalization within Twitter, and still amke some choices about what level of privacy invasion you allow on the platform. On your computer, visit this page and customize your settings. To do so on the iOS app, click the gear icon, select Settings and Privacy, select Privacy and Safety, and then select Personalization and Data.

And remember: Privacy on the internet is something that you can take back with SurfEasy VPN.

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