Ever seen Twitter ads that were a little too relevant to your personal tastes? You now have better tools for dealing with them. Twitter has expanded both the control you have over your data inside its mobile apps as well as the amount of insight into how the social network uses that data. Venture into a “personalization and data” section in the settings and you can tell Twitter to not only avoid tailoring ads, but to stop customizing content based on location. You can even tell it to stop syncing personalization between devices, and there’s a master switch if you want to turn everything off at the same time.
And if you want transparency as to how that data is used, you’ll have it in spades. Twitter’s apps now show fine-grained demographic, interest and ad targeting data, with the option to edit that info if you’re concerned.
There’s a reason for all this extra privacy control: Twitter has updated its privacy policies, and it’s not all for the better. The company has updated how it shares anonymized and device-level data, some of it through “select partnership agreements.” It’s also expanding how it uses and holds on to data from third-party websites that integrate Twitter material. It’s all in the name of further personalizing services, Twitter says. It won’t store web visit data if you live in a country that’s part of the European Union or European Free Trade Association, but this might raise eyebrows regardless of where you live. You might want to review your personalization settings to make sure you’re completely comfortable.