Twitter Saves Your Address Book's Contents for 18 Months

Illustration for article titled Twitter Saves Your Address Book's Contents for 18 Months

Twitter, did you learn nothing from Path's recent kerfuffle? Customers do not like it when you remotely store their personal information, especially without telling them.

The company has acknowledged that it collects and stores contact information gleaned from a user's address book—including names, emails, and phone numbers—through its mobile apps. Every time you activate the "Find My Friends" feature, the app will apparently transmit the entirety of your address book to Twitter's servers where the data is maintained for 18 months. This affects both iOS and Android users.


Twitter's current privacy policy only seems to refer to this activity in that some portions of "log data" can be stored for that duration, though the policy only explicitly refers to transmitting your, "IP address, browser type, the referring domain, pages visited, your mobile carrier, device and application IDs, and search terms." Maybe your address book counts as a search term?

Twitter has issued a statement through its spokeswoman, Carolyn Penner. "We want to be clear and transparent in our communications with users," Penner wrote in an email to the LA Times. "Along those lines, in our next app updates, which are coming soon, we are updating the language associated with Find Friends — to be more explicit. In place of 'Scan your contacts,' we will use "Upload your contacts" and "Import your contacts" (in Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android, respectively)." However, unlike Path, which pushed an immediate app update and deleted the offending data from its servers, Twitter has yet to set a release date for the next software roll-out. [LA Times via Electronista]

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Because tech companies are pure evil and think just cause they can, they should.

Or because the programs are written by people who aren't thinking about the ramifications of what they are implementing.

Or my guess is because they are out to make money and until recently, nobody was even paying attention. Facebook, from day one with their apps has forced users to let app companies use their data, profile, friends list, etc, just so they can use the app. Companies aren't here for you or I. They are here for themselves to make a profit. To assume anything else is naive.