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|FTC Finalizes Twitter Settlement|
- Sunday, 13 March 2011 12:15
The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a proposed settlement with social networking site Twitter, which resolves charges that Twitter deceived consumers and put their privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information. The Twitter lawsuit marks the first time the agency has filed a case against a social networking service.
The FTC alleged in the complaint that serious lapses in the company’s data security allowed hackers to gain unauthorized administrative control of Twitter at least two times between January and May of 2009. The hackers were able to access non-public user information and tweets that consumers had designated as private, and were able to send out phony tweets from any account, including those belonging to then-President-elect Barack Obama, Fox News and others.
“When a company promises consumers that their personal information is secure, it must live up to that promise,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Likewise, a company that allows consumers to designate their information as private must use reasonable security to uphold such designations. Consumers who use social networking sites may choose to share some information with others, but they still have a right to expect that their personal information will be kept private and secure.”
According to the FTC’s Twitter lawsuit, Twitter violated consumers’ privacy because it failed to prevent unauthorized administrative control of its system.
Under the terms of the Twitter settlement, Twitter will be barred for 20 years from misleading consumers about the extent to which it protects the security, privacy and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information, including the measures it takes to prevent unauthorized access to nonpublic information and honor the privacy choices made by consumers. The company also must establish and maintain a comprehensive information security program, which will be assessed by an independent auditor every other year for 10 years.
If Twitter violates the terms of the settlement, it could face a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09