For people to trust Twitter with their personal information, it launched the Twitter Privacy Center to provide more clarity around what they’re doing to protect the information people share with them.
It is the central place that hosts everything that’s part of Twitter’s privacy and data protection work: related initiatives, announcements, new privacy products, and communication about security incidents. It should be easier to find and learn more about the work they’re doing to keep user data secure, including what data they collect, how they use it, and the controls users have.
How Twitter thinks about Privacy and Data Protection
People’s right to privacy and data protection is something they have fought to protect since Twitter was created in 2006. From the beginning, they have offered a range of ways for people to be part of the conversation on Twitter on their terms – from creating pseudonymous accounts to protect their identity to let people control who sees their Tweets. Behind the scenes, teams across the company are constantly working to protect user’s privacy and data. This work has three areas of focus:
- Fix technical debt. Twitter built new features and services on top of older systems. In some cases, the older systems were never made to support their current uses — that’s technical debt. This work isn’t just good for the privacy and safety of people who use Twitter, it’s also good for business. It will help Twitter to get better products and services to users faster. Also, you may have noticed that twitter has been communicating more data and security related disclosures over the last two years. Many of those are the direct result of these efforts. They have been working to make sure their systems meet user’s expectations.
- Build privacy into the products Twitter Launches. Privacy by design is a priority with every product Twitter builds. To achieve this, they continue to build out their processes to review the products they launch. This process involves their Information Security, Product and Privacy Counsel teams and independent Office of Data Protection. This is critical work that they are continuing to invest in. Every new employee goes through data privacy, security, and management training. Twitter launched an internal group called Twitter Doves, which is designed to cultivate the best data privacy, security and management practices for everyone at the company. The Doves’ motto, “trust is earned, not given,” guides best practices they adhere to across Twitter. Finally, Twitter is speaking with people around the world to better understand how different cultures and groups think about privacy and what they expect when they share their information with a platform like Twitter. For example, through the initial findings from this research, they’ve learned that “meaningful controls” have different connotations depending on where you’re from. This kind of feedback is critical to them as they build the privacy and data controls people want when they use Twitter.
- Keep itself accountable to the people that trust them with data. They have already taken a variety of steps to weave accountability into how they operate. Their Data Protection Officer, Damien Kieran, provides an independent assessment of all privacy and data protection-related work to their board of directors on a quarterly basis to make sure they’re appropriately discussing any issues and concerns they have and to drive alignment on what matters from a data protection perspective. They are continuing to invest in Data Management Organization so that they can always account for the data they have, how it is used and when it is shared. To make sure everyone at Twitter is accountable, privacy and data protection is the heart of their 2020 company-wide priority to build products that earn the trust of people who use them. Also, launching the Twitter Privacy Center provides a central place to keep users updated on their privacy and data protection work and aid them in being accountable to users through transparency.