Twitter Updates Privacy Policies That Will Go Into Effect at the Same Time as GDPR

May 25 is a big day for data

The updates come just a day before the company Twitter reports its first-quarter earnings. Getty Images
Headshot of Marty Swant

Twitter has started to notify users about plans to update its Terms and Privacy Policy, which will go into effect next month on May 25—the same day as the European Union enacts its new privacy regulations.

As of today, when users open the app, a new window displays requesting acceptance of the new terms taking effect at the same time as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which will change how companies collect, use and share personal data.

In a blog post announcing the changes, data protection officer Damien Kieran said the changes are intended to clarify technical and legalistic language, helping users understand what kind of information is collected, as well as what the company means by terms like “location data” or “advertising partner data.” Next month, Twitter will begin showing users “a simple chart that categorizes the legal basis for the personal data we process,” along with a personalized “Settings and Privacy Section” that will help users review, change and approve the types of data they share, according to the post.

Twitter is just the latest in a series of companies, including LinkedIn, Strava and Soundcloud, that have started updating their terms and conditions to comply with GDPR. Meanwhile, others have been giving increased authority to their chief privacy officers, or hiring one if they hadn’t already.

Kiernen said the updates—which come just a day before the company reports its first-quarter 2018 earnings—are the “first step” toward a number of privacy policy changes.

“We are proud of our history of partnering with civil society and standing up to governments to protect and defend the people that use our services, and we continue to evolve our efforts around documenting our work,” he wrote. “We also recognize that to enjoy real freedom of expression, you also need and deserve meaningful privacy and security controls.”

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.