30-Day Collection of Off-Twitter Web Browsing
With the update, Twitter can use the information it collects on people’s off-Twitter web browsing for up to 30 days after it accessed it. This means that they can hold onto the information about which sites you click on. Before the update, there was a 10-day maximum set. The new policy would enable Twitter to effectively target key audiences for certain ads, reversing its struggling ad revenue decline.
Twitter also added a new section to the settings menu on its site and in mobile apps that details how Twitter picks which users to target with certain ads. It also allows users to deselect certain individual interest categories, and request a list of companies that use Twitter’s Tailored Audiences option to target them with ads based on information from information like email addresses, Twitter handles, or which users look at the advertiser’s site and used its mobile app.
No More “Do Not Track”
The update also led Twitter to remove the Do Not Track feature, which allowed users to ask every website not to track their behavior in order to target them with ads. Back in 2012, Twitter refused to remove the Do Not Track feature. However, the trend for most ad-supported platforms is to opt out of the feature entirely.
However, there are still options for users who want to disable the information that is collected for targeted ads. Users can pull up Twitter’s settings menu, click on “Privacy and Safety,” then “Personalization and Data,” and turn off “Personalize Ads.” There is also an option to disable Twitter from the ability to see when users visit a site that features a tweet button or embedded tweet, and an option to prevent Twitter from sharing user data, using location-based data to personalize content, and connecting that data across different devices.