I was logging into the Twitter web application for my @apievangelist account and got a popup about their terms of service changes regarding sharing data with partners. While far from the world of privacy and data ownership I see in my head, it is a step in the right direction.
If you go to your Twitter Privacy and Safety, then scroll down until you see Personalization and Data, then click on Edit, you will find a section about how they use your data to personalize and share data with partners. The page gives you a list of six boxes you can turn off or on, one of which lets you have a say in whether or not Twitter shares your data with select partners. It is an important look into how we need to be seeing people’s digital data and asking them if it is okay to share with partners.
I’d like to see a full dashboard with more detail about every way our data is used and even some revenue share opportunities for users who do opt in. I know I’m crazy, but I think it makes sense if we want healthier online ecosystem. End users need to be included in the conversation. They need to be made aware of the data we track on them and how we are sharing, selling, or doing anything else with our personal data. It is just the right thing to be doing.
Anyways, I went in and turned off all my settings. I’m not really interested in having Twitter personalize ads, personalize based on apps, personalize across all your devices, personalize based on the places you’ve been, track where you see Twitter content across the web, or share data through select partnerships without me getting a piece of the action. Sorry — I’m running a business here. Tweets are the exhaust from my business performance on the web each day, and it is important to me to retain as much control over my work as possible.
I’m hoping Twitter keeps investing in this area of their settings. Maybe the personalization and data section can expand and even gain a more prominent place in the Twitter settings area. I’m thankful they have given me this setting, and it is something I would like to see from every platform that I use, giving me more awareness and control over how my data is used. Maybe we could also start sharing notes on how to do it so that we can expect consistent things from the tools we depend on each day — that would be way cool!