From this week, Twitter users have been greeted with a message inviting them to share personal data with advertise - to "personalise" their experience.
Fire up the Twitter app on your phone or tablet, or visit the Twitter website, and you'll probably be greeted by a message inviting you to check your settings. "This encompasses users" age, gender, language, what devices they use to access Twitter, places they've been and a number of other bits of information companies will gobble up to spit out what they think is the most enticing way to get you to buy what they're selling. As part of these changes, Twitter will no longer honor Do Not Track settings. If you select these you'll see the topics and "interests" Twitter or its partners think you have based on your profile and activity. This information won't be displayed publicly'. For example, Do Not Track allows a user to tell a website to not load tracking code from analytics services, social networks, and online advertising companies.
Thankfully, you can switch it all off.
"As we work to make our content more relevant to people on Twitter, we also want to offer the best and most transparent privacy and data controls", it begins.
Here you can choose what level of personalisation you would like to see in the adverts Twitter shows you.
Many are calling it creepy and odd, but on January 18 Twitter is set to launch a new "privacy" setting that will inform advertisers where you've been on the web. The web data is stored whenever the user clicks on the link which is embedded in a tweet which is later used by the company to give suggestions. Another update in the settings is that it now reveals your interests and you can manually turn all of these off if you want to.
This page seeks permission for personalised ads, personalisation across all devices, access to your location, tracking to see where Twitter content is seen across web, and sharing data with select partners.
Taking into account that this data may change hands several times, you may be clicking on a long-winded user agreement on one site, and you may allow some no-name advertiser to use your Twitter data like name or email for targeted ads. However, if the idea of Twitter sending your tweet history to advertisers suddenly frightens you, then you should take steps to stop the social network from being able to track you. There are granular personalization controls below.
Up to you! If you're into receiving tailored ads then you don't have to do anything to your settings - Twitter will soon be using your information to tailor ads directly to you.