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Your Twitter account will tell advertisers what you search for, unless you change certain settings.


Angela Lang/CNET

After the latest Twitter hack, you may have been spurred to action to lock down your Twitter account by enabling two-factor authorization and use a strong and unique password. Such security measures will make it harder for hackers to get into your Twitter account, but there’s also a privacy side to Twitter’s settings — separate from security — that lets you control what information Twitter itself is allowed to share about you.

Twitter isn’t shy about sharing information with its business partners (read: advertisers) about you and your browsing habits. It passes on your data to help serve targeted ads on your feed, and it also collection information about you when you visit a site that has an embedded tweet or Twitter share button. 

If you care more about keeping your data private than you do about seeing ads in your feed that target your online habits and whereabouts, it’s easy to stop Twitter from sharing your information.

Twitter privacy settings

To do so, tap your account picture in the top-left and go to Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety and then scroll down and tap Personalization and data at the bottom of the page. At the top is a toggle switch to disable all personalization and data settings. You’ll find this setting on both mobile Twitter and on the web.

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One toggle switch can prevent Twitter from collecting and sharing information about you.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

I turned them all off, but there are granular controls for ad personalization on Twitter itself and data Twitter can collect from your browsing history if you want to find a middle ground between keeping your data private and getting a more personalized Twitter experience.

If you head back to the Privacy and safety page in Settings, you’ll see a Location setting if you are using Twitter on your phone where you can disable Precise location. Toggling this setting off prevents Twitter from using your phone’s GPS to tailor the ads it serves you.

See what data Twitter has collected about you

Twitter also has an area where you can see the demographic, geographic and other ad-targeting data it has collected about you. Head to the Personalization and data page in settings, scroll to the bottom and tap See your Twitter data. Here, you can view and edit Your Profile but the better information can be found on the Interests and ad data tab. You can view and edit the interests Twitter assumes about you and also request a list of the advertisers with whom Twitter has shared your data be emailed to you.

Read more: You can also fine-tune your browser settings to improve your privacy in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge and Brave, but if you’re worried about your online privacy, this is the browser to use.

source: cnet.com

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