Twitter said on Monday it may have accidentally collected and shared location data of some users accessing its app through Apple devices with an advertising partner. In a blog post, the social media platform said the information collected was not retained and only existed in their systems for a short time and have informed the people whose accounts were impacted to let them know the bug has been fixed.
According to Twitter, the bug primarily impacted the iOS device owners, who use more than one account on Twitter for iOS app and had selected the option to share precise location data in one account and not the others. The company revealed that even if a user had not enabled the location data collection option in other accounts, the app collected the precise location data when the user was accessing the other accounts through the official app.
Further, the company stated that it had intended to remove location data from the information shared with a “trusted advertising partner”, but the location data was not removed. The advertisers, however, only received “fuzzed” version of location data, which was “was no more precise than zip code or city (5km squared).”
The advertising partner did not receive data such as user's Twitter handle or other unique account ids that could have compromised identity, the company said.
“We have confirmed with our partner that the location data has not been retained and that it only existed in their systems for a short time, and was then deleted as part of their normal process,” Twitter added in a post on its website.
The company noted that it has notified the impacted users and it urged other users to go through their privacy settings on Twitter to make sure that are only sharing the data they want.
Written with inputs from Reuters