Private Tweets May Have Been Public for Several Years - Warns Twitter

Credit: One News Page Staff- Published on January 18, 2019
by 👩‍💻 Alice Monroe

We’re only a short way into 2019 and we are already looking at a fresh scandal with regard to social media – and Facebook, at least, can breathe a sigh of relief. According to BBC News, Twitter has admitted discovering a flaw in its site security which may have led to private tweets being discovered by the public – and that said messages may have been on public display for several years.

The flaw is said to be linked to anyone using Twitter between November 2014 and January 2019 who had opted to change their linked email address. Those tweets said to be affected by the flaw are ‘protected’ – in the sense that the tweeter has designated that their messages remain private only to authorized followers. However, this bug may have unfortunately rendered private missives public.

Twitter advised that a public notice would be on its way as a result of there being no clear data on just how many accounts may have been affected during the flaw. It seems, too, that an internal investigation may not identify quite how many protected tweeters were put at risk during the period. The firm has also advised that they have re-established the protected service for Android users, who may have accidentally turned off such privacy tools during this time.

All users are encouraged to check their privacy settings and to ensure that they now have protected tweets turned on if this is what they desire – though the issue is thought to only have affected those using the service outside of a web browser or iOS app at this time. Therefore, Android users and those using other devices may want to take a close look at their Twitter settings before they continue to use the service.

The flaw – reportedly fixed on January 14th – arrives with an apology from the firm. “We’re very sorry this happened and we’re conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again,” an official notice states.

Social media and privacy, as well as data held on such networks, have been a premium concern for millions of people in recent months – meaning that more and more people have taken steps to tighten up their data sharing and what they use their social media for. With Facebook still recovering from a year of revelations and scandal, there’s no telling quite where such concerns will end.


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