Twitter (X) wants to collect users' biometric data

2 min
Tags: Twitter biometric data facial images handwriting fingerprints Privacy policy employment data Elon Musk

The well-known and popular social media service Twitter (X) was taken over by entrepreneur and visionary Elon Musk in October 2022. He renamed the service to X and announced some radical changes, one of which is the planned collection of users' biometric data.

Biometric data: what’s behind it

Biometric data is data that describes a person’s physical, physiological or behavioral characteristics that enable or confirm their unique identification or verification. Classic biometric data are facial images, handwriting, fingerprints and voice samples. Since this data can be used to identify a person without doubt, it is particularly sensitive data that requires high protection against misuse and unauthorized access.

Why does X (Twitter) want to collect biometric data from users?

According to the company, the collection of biometric data is intended to make the platform more secure and personalized. On the one hand, biometric authentication is intended to confirm the identity of users and prevent fake or hacked accounts from accessing the service. On the other hand, there are tangible economic interests behind the offensive. Biometric analysis is used to identify user interests and preferences in order to display personalized advertising, job offers and content.

Change in privacy policy

In order to obtain users' consent for the collection and use of their biometric data, the company has changed its privacy policy. Users who have given their consent can revoke or restrict their consent at any time. However, the exact methods and scope of data collection by Twitter (X) are not yet known. It is possible that X extracts the biometric data from the photos, videos or audios that users upload or share on the platform. Upon request from the BBC, the company announced that the procedure will be linked to additional requirements such as providing a selfie and a copy of an ID card.

Explosive detail: employment data

An explosive detail in Twitter's new privacy policy (X) concerns the collection of data about existing employment relationships and special skills of users. Anyone who agrees to the innovations also agrees to the collection and evaluation of this data. According to the company, the data will be used to suggest new jobs to users in a targeted manner. On the other hand, potential employers will receive corresponding information upon request.

Plans for the future of X (Twitter)

Elon Musk has high ambitions for the future with Platform X. In the future, he sees the service not only as a platform for communication and information, but also as a platform for entertainment, education, commerce and finance. The goal is to make X a global address book with which users can make video calls, send money, buy products and play games. Topics such as blockchain and the use of artificial intelligence are also on the agenda for the future direction of X.

Conclusion: The collection of biometric data from users is part of Elon Musk's vision for X, which he wants to realize in the next few years. However, this entails numerous risks and poses major challenges for data protection. How Musk intends to minimize these risks and gain and retain the trust of users remains to be seen.