Washington: Twitter has faced a big blow as Federal Trade Commission levied a $150 million fine on the microblogging site, alleging that the company illegally used peoples' personal data over six years to help sell targeted advertisements.
As per Variety, Twitter violated a 2011 FTC order that "explicitly prohibited" the company from misrepresenting its privacy and security practices. In addition to the USD150 million fine, Twitter is banned from "profiting from its deceptively collected data," the FTC said.
In August 2020, Twitter disclosed that it expected to face an FTC fine of USD 150 million to USD 250 million related to the allegations.
Twitter has agreed to pay the fine.
In a blog post, Twitter chief privacy officer Damien Kieran wrote, "Keeping data secure and respecting privacy is something we take extremely seriously, and we have cooperated with the FTC every step of the way. In reaching this settlement, we have paid a USD 150M USD penalty, and we have aligned with the agency on operational updates and program enhancements to ensure that people's personal data remains secure and their privacy protected."
The fine comes at a time when Twitter is in the midst of a USD 44 billion takeover bid by billionaire Elon Musk.