Threads vs. Twitter – Why Meta’s Threads is a Privacy Nightmare?

Threads vs. Twitter – Why Meta’s Threads is a Privacy Nightmare?

Article by Tsaaro

7 min read

Threads vs. Twitter – Why Meta’s Threads is a Privacy Nightmare?

Introduction

The significance of social media in our lives has exponentially increased over the last 20 years. Large amounts of personal information have been managed on these platforms, which have evolved into hubs for information dissemination. They have been able to sway people thanks to their capacity to manage vast amounts of personal data. Consequently, regulation of social media platform functionality has emerged as a significant concern, particularly in the last ten years.

Most social media platforms rely on the commercial exploitation of user data in the absence of regulation, utilizing algorithms to direct and shape consumer behavior. All of this was made possible by their massive collection and unauthorized use of user personal data for a variety of purposes. Therefore, apart from authority regulations, a social media privacy policy is crucial to analyze the intensity of an organization’s commitment to privacy. This blog will analyze the loopholes in the privacy policy of Meta’s new social media sensation, i.e., threads, in comparison to similar pre-existing platforms, i.e., Twitter.

Also, read How will the DPDP Bill affect businesses’ data collection and processing practices?

Social Media Privacy

Social media privacy is a requirement of the contemporary digital environment. It mainly entails safeguarding the privacy of users’ sensitive and personal data that social media platforms gather, keep, and process. A portion of this data is provided freely to the platform, while another portion may be gathered through trackers and cookies.

Privacy on social media cannot be guaranteed in a vacuum, and recently, many other circumstances have led to an increased danger of its invasion. These include the consolidation of the largest social media platforms, which don’t have any rivals in the market and have even more users and data to handle for single corporate organizations.

Twitter’s Privacy Policy

To lay out a fair comparison, it is necessary to be aware of what information Twitter collects and stores, such as the user’s purchase history and browsing history that is connected to the user’s account. Ten of the data points that Twitter utilizes for tracking are made public, most notably: Precise Location, Email Address, Web History, Buying History, Device ID, and user ID.

Users of Twitter may be concerned about their privacy due to Twitter’s vast data harvesting practices. Twitter collects a variety of information, such as user interactions, device information, and information on targeted advertising. Users may be concerned about the volume of data being gathered and how it will be used to offer targeted advertisements and personalize user experiences. Red flags are also raised by the potential sharing of user data with partners and third-party developers. Users may also worry about data breaches, location monitoring, and the effects of tweeting in public. For data protection in the digital era and to retain user confidence, these privacy problems must be addressed.

Also, read Privacy by Design and Privacy Engineering – Is there any Intersection?

Threads & Privacy Concerns.

Thepotential issues with the privacy policy and data handling agreements of meta-owned threads are the major reasons behind the application’s late release in the strictest jurisdiction regarding privacy laws, i.e., the EU. This delay also stems from the stricter implementation of regulations in this jurisdiction against Meta and its other companies. The Irish DPC fined Meta for illegal Cross border Data Transfer while the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in July ruled that Facebook is unable to establish “legitimate interest” as justification for using user data for advertising purposes, thus discrediting Meta’s targeted ad strategy. A few of the privacy concerns that arise from the prima facie reading of its privacy policy are as follows:

  1. Threads gathers sensitive personal data about you.
    • Your sexual orientation, color and ethnicity, biometric information, union membership, pregnancy status, politics, and religious beliefs might all be included in the data that the Threads app collects. Potential recipients of this data include “service providers” and “analytics partners,” which are frequently codes for outside advertising and marketing companies.
  2. Threads gathers information about your employment.
    • It is possible for third parties to receive information about your business, your team role, your employment history, and your performance reviews.
  3. Threads gather information about your body.
    • Your health, fitness, and exercise habits might be collected and provided to outside parties.
  4. Threads gather information on your online behavior.
    • Your browser history, interactions with web pages (including ad interactions), and the referring web page or source from which you obtained Threads links may all be searched by Threads. Also, third parties may receive this information.
  5. Threads gathers information on your location.
    • In addition to “IP-address-based location information,” third parties may also get images, videos, or other recordings of a user’s surroundings.
  6. Lack of Privacy by Design
    • Deleting your threads account requires you to delete your Instagram as well. This potentially influences the choice of a Threads user who wants to delete their Threads account while maintaining an Instagram account.

Securing privacy on Threads

Here’s a step-by-step process threads users can undergo to protect their personal sensitive information:

  1. Shorten the amount of time Meta keeps your search history in the Account Centre.
  2. Manually clear searches as often as you’d like to stop this information from being utilized for marketing initiatives.
  3. Refrain from synchronizing contacts.
  4. Lessen tracking by deselecting all optional cookies.
  5. Adjust your ad settings to exclude “more relevant” advertising as they depend on your personal information.
  6. If you want to stop Threads from tracking you, switch off Location Tracking for Instagram since whatever permissions you provide for Instagram also apply to Threads.

Conclusion

We are living in the age of social media, and one cannot usually stay out of this loop. With vast amounts of data being handled by these organizations, it is imperative that not only users demand a culture of privacy from these organizations as well as employ best practices at their end to protect their personal data from being breached. Meta-owned Threads was coming as a rival to already established Twitter, but it came up with its own more severe privacy issues, which potentially ended up making the consumer the product.

Want to ensure the safety of your personal information? Stay one step ahead of the curve by connecting with Tsaaro. We provide the best solutions and practices to employ to ensure the data privacy of yourself or your organization. Get in touch with us at info@tsaaro.com

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