THE social media platform formerly known as Twitter, now called X, has introduced a new privacy policy which allows the company to collect users’ biometric data and access encrypted messages.

In response, Michael Kleinman, Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative Director, said: “With over 500 million users, such a system-wide collection of extremely sensitive data poses huge security and privacy risks.

“The new policy does not clearly spell out how biometric data will be stored and the safety measures in place to ensure that the information collected will not be used for unlawful purposes. Even more concerning is the provision that X will collect information about the location of users and their private messages, which may constitute mass surveillance.

“Users’ information will also be used to train X’s machine learning and artificial intelligence models – yet users are not explicitly given the option of agreeing that their data should be used for this purpose.

“X claims to be a platform that promotes freedom of expression, but its carte blanche approach to profit-making presents a serious risk to individual rights.”

Encrypted messages can be accessed

The new X Privacy Policy replaces what was previously known as the Current Privacy Policy. As well as the collection of biometric data, the new policy introduces the collection of information about users’ employment history and, most notably, makes provision for the sharing of encrypted messages for security reasons. According to X’s policy, it collects “metadata related to Encrypted Messages and when you use Direct Messages, including contents of the messages, the recipients, and date and time of the messages”.

* Read the new X Privacy Policy here.

* Source: Amnesty International