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Twitter has introduced a series of new privacy setting changes, including an automatic location tracker that informs advertisers where you’ve been on the web.
“The updates include one feature where Twitter has gone over users’ ‘profile and activity’ to determine what interests they have. These can be toggled on or off by users if they wish. Ultimately, the information will be used to tailor ads, though,” reported Forbes on Thursday. “The micro-blogging giant has also chosen to start tracking what apps are sitting alongside Twitter on users’ phones, their locations and what websites they’ve visited.”
“For the latter, that’s only for sites that integrate Twitter content, like embedded tweets,” they continued, adding that “Furthermore, the company will ‘not store web page visit data for users who are in the European Union and EFTA States.’”
Users visiting their settings will also have discovered that location tracking has been turned on.
The site states in a caption by the setting that location data will be passed on to advertisers, and gives you the option to turn it off and delete the current data collected on your account.
Despite the option to turn off these new changes, several users have complained.
“People are confirming that [Twitter] has indeed turned on location tagging without a BIG WARNING. That’s at the opposite end from ‘ethical,’” posted one verified blogger.
Another journalist even claimed that after turning one of the new settings off on their computer, it was still active on their mobile phone.
Other important changes in the update include Twitter dropping support for “Do Not Track,” which “allows users to opt-out from being tracked by third-party services on websites they do not directly visit.”
Despite the fact that Twitter was a vocal support of Do Not Track, they will no longer honor requests from the service.
Another revelation is that Twitter will start to keep out-of-platform web-browsing data for a month.
“This means that if you’re a Twitter user and you visit a site where there’s a Twitter share button or embedded tweet, Twitter will know you visited that site and keep the name of that site associated with your profile in its database for up to a month,” explained Bleeping Computer. “All of these changes have been done as Twitter’s stocks have been slowly declining. These updates have a clear objective, and that’s to make Twitter more attractive to online advertisers.”
The changes will come into effect on June 18.
Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington or like his page at Facebook.