Twitter grabs your data, keeps it for 18 months

John Moe Feb 15, 2012

Yeah, you thought that was just Facebook doing stuff like that? Or Path? Think again, Slim. The Twitter app for smartphones has a little button that says Find Friends. If you select it, Twitter grabs your friends names, phone numbers, email addresses, whatever is on there, and stores that information on its servers for 18 months. No permission is asked and the Twitter user agreement contains no language indicating that the company will do this. A Twitter spokesperson told the LA Times that this will soon be made more transparent:

“We want to be clear and transparent in our communications with users,” Penner wrote in an email. “Along those lines, in our next app updates, which are coming soon, we are updating the language associated with Find Friends — to be more explicit. In place of ‘Scan your contacts,’ we will use “Upload your contacts” and “Import your contacts” (in Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android, respectively). 

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.