[Vox] What happens to your Twitter data now that Elon’s taken over

I’m not sharing this as part of any discussions or opinions folks may have on Elon Musk. I’m sharing just because I never thought about this reality when sharing data with a company and counting on them to keep it private as the only realistic safeguard we have.

While the incentives don’t line up in this case, theoretically any company or individual who buys another company has access to the user data. Yes, I know there are data brokers so maybe this isn’t a big deal, but it’s yet another way in which the data you give someone today may end up who knows where in the future.

I don’t use Twitter, but it did kind of spook me that one person who was rich enough was able to buy access to private messages with no substantial safeguards for user privacy.

Here’s the conclusion from the article:

We’ll all soon see what kind of town square Musk thinks Twitter should be. If nothing else, the Twitter-Musk deal should be a good reminder that your data is only as private as the company you give it to wants it to be. And as we know now more than ever, that ownership can change.

What do you think?

1 Like
  • Google buying out YouTube
  • Google buying out VirusTotal
  • Google buying out Waze
  • Google buying out Nest
  • Google buying out FameBit
  • Google buying out Fitbit
  • Facebook buying out Oculus
  • Facebook buying out Instagram
  • Facebook buying out WhatsApp
  • Amazon buying out IMDb
  • Amazon buying out Audible
  • Amazon buying out Goodreads
  • Amazon buying out Twitch
  • Amazon buying out Wickr

We can keep the list going. The point is ownership of data is not under your control when you use platforms that have 100% control of user data with no legal restrictions over how the data is shared during an acquisition.

Generally why digital minimalism, lowering the number of accounts, limiting genuine PII on your accounts is always a good move.

Personal note: but this is even scarier when you have an individual takeover like Musk. Musk can now view the DMs of any enemy he’s ever had - partly in thanks to Twitter never rolling our E2EE in DMs.

1 Like

I mean obviously people can lie or break promises but this came to my mind

1 Like

And full self driving is still coming in 2020 - I’m not holding my breath for anything he promises :stuck_out_tongue:

I dont either but to say something positive, at least he somewhat likes the idea of end to end encryption

E2EE is nice, but he also wants “as relelevant advertisement as possible” which (AFAIK) cannot be done with a huge data collection.

Anyway I stopped using Twitter shortly after the Russian invasion and recently I deleted all my tweets, cleaned DMs, followers/following, changed email, name, info and generally “poisoned the well” a bit :slightly_smiling_face: There are most likely backups and everything, but hopefully something will be deleted/changed.

Generally why digital minimalism, lowering the number of accounts, limiting genuine PII on your accounts is always a good move.


1 Like

I really don’t see how that is a big worry when basically Twitter is wide open for content users have put in pretty much by design. You are not sharing with the company but pretty much with all the users there. In this sort of product it is not so much who the owners are that should be first concern from privacy & security POV.

Yes, it is literally a social network so there is an element of not being able to complain about information you published yourself. The other parts that are what I don’t like as much is the information that Twitter tracked on just you that would not likely go out, direct messages being the main culprit.

But also, almost every social media company does not have a great reputation for privacy anyway, so you should know that going in like most do.

Who tf uses twitter to do sensitive talks? We should be worried about telegram situation more.