In many ways, internet advertising is a necessary consequence of life online. Most users understand it’s the price we all pay for great websites and online tools without having to pay much for the privilege. (NOTE: that doesn’t stop the internet hoaxes from circulating, namely that sites like Facebook are going to start charging for “premium accounts”.)
Like many companies, Twitter has recently had to revamp its privacy model in order to allow targeted, meaningful advertising that still speaks to users without annoying the heck out of them. This announcement has been met with some interest, specifically due to the ability to now see which types of ad lists you’re on, see how many and which advertisers can target you, and remove yourself from some of those lists as you choose.
According to the announcement from Twitter, “We’re expanding Your Twitter Data to give you the most transparent access to your Twitter information to date, including demographic and interest data, and advertisers that have included you in their tailored audiences on Twitter. Each category of data will be clearly marked, and you will be able to view or modify this data directly.”
One of the more suspicious privacy settings allows Twitter to figure out who you are and what device you’re using, meaning that they will associate the device itself with your account when you log in. Be mindful that logging in from your parents dusty old desktop at the holidays can mean their computer and its search history can link to your account unless you disable this feature in your settings.
Shared with third parties
Further, Twitter has acknowledged that the data it gathers on you and your search preferences can be shared with third-parties, but only with consent. They introduced multiple toggling features that let you turn on and off key advertising preferences, including by content, to better approach you with offers and promoted tweets. Finally, for websites that embed tweets, Twitter offered up some important wording for those sites that will need to disclose the data gathering and advertising activity.