Twitter said on Monday that it was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for potentially misusing people’s personal information to serve ads, adding that it faced fines of $150 million to $250 million.
In a corporate filing, Twitter disclosed that the FTC began the investigation last October after it had linked a database of its users’ personal information, which it had for security purposes, with a system used by advertising partners.
The action, which Twitter said was inadvertent, may have violated a 2011 agreement that the company signed with the FTC over consumer privacy. At the time, Twitter had agreed to a settlement with the agency after hackers had gained administrative control of the social media service on multiple occasions. Under the agreement, Twitter was restricted from misleading people about the measures it took to protect their security and privacy.
Brandon Borrman, a Twitter spokesman, said the company was contacted by the FTC after it reported quarterly financial results on July 23. The investigation was disclosed in accordance with “standard accounting rules” and was included in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he added.
Full Content: New York Times