Twitter updates TOS and privacy policy to comply with GDPR

Twitter announced changes to its terms of service (TOS) and privacy policy in a blog post Tuesday morning.

The post, titled “Continuing Our Commitments to Privacy & Transparency,” comes in advance of the May 25, 2018, deadline for complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The post was written by the company’s data protection officer, Damien Kieran.

It’s the latest in a series of updates large enterprises are announcing to bring their operations into compliance with GDPR, a sweeping set of rules that mandate how entities handle European Union citizens’ data no matter where they reside. Organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4 percent of their annual global turnover or €20 million (whichever is greater).

Twitter has updated its privacy policy to make it easier to manage personal information, the post says. The company has made it “visually clear and easy to use,” added a download button to get a plain text version and optimized it for mobile and web.

The company has also added direct links throughout the policy to give users visibility into what personal data Twitter has about them, and gives them the ability to decide if they want to continue to share it.

“We have reorganized the policy to make it visually clear and easy to use,” a Twitter spokesperson told me:

What you’ll see as you navigate through the policy is that we have broken it into seven main sections. We describe the data you provide us, the other data we receive about you, and how we use this information. We’ve expanded and revised content to make sure that some of the more legalistic or technical language is as clear as possible. We also use hover tips and expanding media to help explain points that may be not as easily understood. We also link to additional help center resources. Throughout the policy we explain how you can reach your settings to control the information you share with Twitter.

Only users who have their location set to an EU country will see a notification of these changes on May 25, which means that EU citizens who do not use those settings will not see it. According to GDPR’s rules, companies must make their best effort to inform users when these types of changes are made. Twitter’s efforts may be short of full compliance.

The company has made minor changes to its TOS to accommodate new terms and clarify the rights and obligations of users.

Questions about GDPR? Download our free guide, The General Data Protection Regulation: GDPR — A Guide for Marketers.

About The Author

Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.

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