Twitter is taking steps to add more safeguards to its processes that use user data, with the appointment of a new Government Internal Data Committee (DGC) which will analyze and decide on all systematic changes related to the use of information and user information.
As explained by Twitter:
The use and misuse of data has become a major concern in recent years, following the Cambridge Analytica saga on Facebook. In this case, a private company obtained swaths of users’ personal information from their Facebook profiles and usage patterns on the platform, initially under the guise of academic research.
Using this, the Cambridge Analytica team claim to have created complex psychographic personas of a wide range of Facebook users, which they then applied, in various ways, via Facebook ads and posts, to influencing election results around the world.
No one knows for sure what real impact the CA programs have had (Facebook doesn’t say much), but the concept that your personal information, which can be very indicative of your inclinations and psychological traits, can then be used to manipulate, focusing on key issues and concerns, highlights the magnitude of what having so much personal data online can mean for political campaigning, as well as advertising, population profiling, etc
TikTok has come under scrutiny around the same, due to its ties to the Chinese government, while the rollout of GDPR in Europe has also raised the bar of expectations for digital providers. Each of these cases further highlights broader concerns about data misuse, which, in turn, have driven each platform to implement better systems to protect users from attacks and abuse via their tools.
Twitter itself suffered a major privacy breach last year, when several high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked and began tweeting messages about cryptocurrency scams.
It wasn’t a data breach per se, but it’s another area of concern on that front, with Twitter’s new DGC to make decisions on key milestones related to each.
Outwardly, the announcement obviously doesn’t change much, but it should provide more reassurance that Twitter is taking additional steps to improve its security measures, on all fronts, and protect user information at all levels.
Twitter will seek to appoint the first members of its internal Data Governance Committee soon.