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Twitter Introduces New Set of Privacy Laws to Comply With California, EU Regulations

CC0 / / Twitter, Facebook
Twitter, Facebook  - Sputnik International
In June 2018, California passed a consumer privacy act which would see increased repercussions on US companies by expanding what the state legally considers to be data. The law follows the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy last year.

Twitter announced on Monday that it will update policies worldwide to abide by privacy laws set out in California and the European Union, which, according to some, could potentially impact some users disproportionately.

In a policy update, Twitter announced its intention to "test" unspecified "features and settings" globally, which are not permitted under European Union privacy rules, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  

"Over the last 18 months and based on initial learnings from our global privacy research project, we know that different people want different experiences — 'one size does not fit all' when it comes to things like personalisation", Twitter said in its new release.

"So in order to do that, we need to have flexibility to test a range of controls. Europe’s latest privacy law is still relatively new but early interpretations don’t appear to provide that flexibility". 

"By moving some people’s relationship to Twitter, Inc., we have greater freedom to test features and settings and provide people with the controls that meet their needs and expectations", the company wrote. 

Twitter pledged to open "a destination to provide more clarity around what we’re doing to protect the information you share with us" and will publish a website with all the company's privacy policies in one location.

Under the new law, tech companies like Twitter will be required to disclose information on what they know about their users, as well as improving the means by which uses can erase the personal data collected by tech companies.

A discrepancy which has caused some controversy finds Twitter holding users in the European Union (EU) to Twitter's own internal company standards.

The Twitter International Company, a separate organisation based on Dublin, Ireland, will be responsible for providing products and services to the EU. Twitter Inc., a San Francisco-based body, will deal with US accounts and those in other non-EU nations.

Previously, Twitter International supplied universal provision to all Twitter users outside of the US, but to avoid applying European privacy standards all over the world, the jurisdiction will fall to Twitter Inc.

Global tech giants lobbied extensively in opposition to the new California and European legislation, which imposes limitations around the monetisation of user personal data, which, at present, numbers in the billions.

Not every corporation has reacted accordingly, however, as Microsoft in May accepted the outlines of the Europe's GDPR, as well as continuing to follow California's standard within the US.

Facebook and Twitter have come under fire in recent years for selling user data to the highest bidder. Both recently receiving criticism in November after it was revealed that they had improperly accessed user data through certain Android apps downloaded via the Google Play store.

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