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Twitter Has Made Some Changes To Its Privacy Settings And Data Controls

18 May 2017, 7:12 pm EDT By Kevin Billings Tech Times
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In a new post, Twitter announced it made some changes to the app's data controls and privacy settings. Now, you'll be able to see what it thinks you're interested in.  ( Cameron Spencer | Getty Images )

Twitter decided to reveal some changes it was making to everyone's privacy settings and data controls. Now, Twitter is going to tell you what it thinks you're interested in.

What's New With Twitter

The first of these changes involves the length of time the site stores web data. Like other sites, cookies are used on Twitter as a way to store information on someone's internet habits. Basically, whenever you click on a link that is embedded in a tweet, that data gets stored by Twitter to make suggestions based on those selections. Originally, this information was stored for 10 days, but under the new changes, it will be stored for a month.

Twitter has also removed the Do Not Track feature it tried to push. The feature was designed to allow anyone who used it to keep advertisers from tracking browser histories. The company explained the decision in a support post, stating "While we had hoped that our support for Do Not Track would spur industry adoption, an industry-standard approach to Do Not Track did not materialize."

Twitter has also provided granular controls for managing how personalized someone's Twitter experience is. This allows users to adjust how Twitter makes site suggestions and puts in ads based on their interests and locations. It doesn't remove the ads or keep cookies from appearing on Twitter, but it will keep anything from coming up that is "personalized" to fit internet and Twitter habits. It may also make suggestions on who to follow as well.

(Photo: Twitter)
Twitter's new privacy settings and personalization and data controls.

Not Entirely Clear

Something else that is going to be happening with the changes is data sharing with ad partners. The problem is that how user data will be used isn't entirely clear in the blog post.

"We've updated how how we share non-personal, aggregated, and device-level data, including through some select partnership agreements that allow the data to be linked to your name, email, or other personal information - but only when you give your consent to those partners," Twitter says.

The only thing that is clear is that there won't be less data sharing on Twitter's end.

Twitter will then start providing a users a list of "Interests" that may apply based on their Twitter activity and profile. Using this framing tool, more items on Twitter will appear in feeds that fit someone's likes and interests, which could simplify the Twitter experience a bit. But given the way it goes about getting that information, it could still end up raising more questions about data privacy on the social media platform.

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Kevin Billings Tech Times editor Kevin Billings is a born geek at heart. Whether it's video games, movies, tv, comics, or tech, you will likely find Kevin there. And he feels gratified in his passions now that geek culture has come to dominate mainstream pop culture.

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