Twitter announces new privacy policy ahead of European data law

Jeremy B White
The Twitter logo as seen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Twitter has announced an update to its privacy policy in anticipation of a sweeping new European Union law governing personal data.

With the EU's General Data Protection Regulation taking effect in May, Twitter’s data protection officer wrote in a blog post that the microblogging platform would roll out an update making its privacy policy easier to navigate.

That includes clarifying “legalistic or technical language” and giving users opportunities to understand and control what information they share with Twitter and third-party applications, data protection chief Damien Kieran wrote.

“We believe you should know the types of data you share with us and how we use it. Most importantly, you should have meaningful control over both”, he wrote.

Users will also be able to download the information they have shared on Twitter.

The new rules will take effect on May 25th, when users in the EU will be greeted by a prompt explaining the revamped terms of service and privacy policy.

Social media platforms have faced amplifying questions about their personal data safeguards after it emerged that data covering up to 87 million Facebook users ended up in the possession of political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

While Twitter was not implicated in the data transfer, politicians in America and the UK have shown an appetite to more broadly regulate social media data management

A newly introduced, bipartisan US Senate bill would mandate that social media sites provide more details about the information they collect, as well as notifying users about breaches, and give customers more authority over what they share.

Responding to revelations that Russia-linked actors used social media to try and fracture the American electorate, Twitter pledged last year to release more information about paid advertising.