Twitter is considering forcing users to let the company sell their data and phone numbers to advertisers, in potential breach of Apple rules


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Apr 24, 2016
Twitter is working on plans to force some users to agree to data sharing or lose access to the app in a bid to save its ad business, according to Platformer.

Elon Musk's platform, like Google and Facebook, currently allows users to opt out of personalized ads, but this option could soon disappear.

Many users never turn this feature off in the first place, but the company is also considering forcing users to share more data, which can then be sold to advertisers, Platformer's report said.

This includes sharing user locations and phone numbers for targeted ads, even though the latter is necessary for two-factor authentication.

Twitter would implement the new rules by presenting a full-screen notification which can't be dismissed until users agree to share their data, and there would then be no chance to opt out, Platformer said.

People familiar with the plans told Platformer that it would be rolled out to about 1% of American users to see their reactions, before expanding it to all Twitter accounts.

The plans could hit a snag in Europe, because EU rules say that users have the legal right to withdraw data-sharing permissions at any time.

Under one plan being considered, users could only opt out if they subscribe to Twitter Blue — which costs at least $8 a month. But that would breach Apple's rules which outlaw apps from forcing a choice between payment and advertiser tracking.

Last year, Apple introduced a feature which prevents apps from tracking users across different apps to build detailed customer profiles for advertisers. This cost Meta $10 billion in revenue, while multiple sources told Platformer that less than 35% of Twitter users opted in.

Platformer reports that Twitter is working on the feature because Twitter Blue could actually lose the company money. The $8 monthly subscription allows users to see half as many ads, which is estimated to cost Twitter $6 in revenue. On Tuesday, Musk tweeted that the company would later introduce a higher tier with no ads.


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Mar 9, 2014
Ultimately, platforms are driven generally by ad revenues and monetizing user data.
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