Twitter’s taking steps to add more safeguards into its processes that utilize user data, with the appointment of a new Internal Data Government Committee (DGC) which will analyze and rule on all systematic changes relating to the usage of user info and insights.
Data use, and misuse, has become a big focus in recent years, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica saga at Facebook. In that instance, a private company obtained swathes of users’ personal info from their Facebook profiles and on-platform usage habits, initially under the guise of academic research.
Using this, the team from Cambridge Analytica claims to have created intricate psychographic personas of a broad range of Facebook users, which it then applied, in various ways, via Facebook ads and posts, in order to influence the outcomes of elections around the world.
No one knows for sure what actual impact the CA programs had (Facebook says not much), but the concept that your personal information, which can be highly indicative of your psychological leanings and traits, can then be used to manipulate you, by honing in on key pain points and concerns, underlines the scope of what having so much personal data online can mean for political campaigns, as well as advertising, population profiling, etc.
TikTok has come under significant scrutiny around the same, due to its links to the Chinese Government, while Europe’s GDPR roll-out has also raised the bar of expectation for digital providers. Each of these cases further highlights the broader concerns around data misuse, which, in turn, has pushed each platform to implement better systems to protect users from attacks and abuse through their tools.
Twitter itself suffered a major privacy breach last year, when several high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked and started tweeting out messages about cryptocurrency scams.
That wasn’t a data hack, as such, but it’s another element of concern on this front, with Twitter’s new DGC to make decisions on key steps related to each.
Externally, the announcement obviously doesn’t change anything much, but it should provide more assurance that Twitter is taking additional steps to improve its security measures, on all fronts, and protect user info across the board.
Twitter will look to appoint the initial members of its Internal Data Government Committee soon.