Twitter Used User Contact Data Provided for Security to Target Ads

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Twitter Used User Contact Data Provided for Security to Target Ads
Short Title Information That Users Provided For Security Purposes Was Used By Twitter to Target Ads
Location Global
Date October 2019

Taxonomy Secondary Use
Information Contact
Threat Actors Twitter

Affected Twitter users
High Risk Groups
Secondary Consequences

Twitter used phone numbers and email addresses that users are asked to provide for security purposes for targeting ads, specifically their Tailored Audience and Partner Audience systems.


Twitter users are asked to provide information like their phone number to help secure their account through services such as two-factor authentication. In October 2019 Twitter was found to be using those phone number and email addresses to target ads at people, specifically in their Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences advertising system. This is an example of Secondary Use.

Later Twitter apologized in a blog post and said they cannot say exactly how many people were impacted.


Threat: Twitter using information provided for security purposes to target ads
At-Risk group: Twitter users
Harm: Secondary Use
Secondary Consequences:

Risk Statistics

Laws and Regulations