Twitter mobile apps storing address books for 18 months
Twitter has become the latest in a growing list of companies caught storing user’s data without making it explicit.
The company has admitted that it is storing the entire address books of users for 18 months, if they use the “Find Friends” feature on its iOS and Android clients. The function searches through your existing address book looking for matches on Twitter, but doesn’t make it clear that Twitter will be storing the data, or for how long.
“We want to be clear and transparent in our communications with users,” Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner told the Los Angeles Times. “Along those lines, in our next app updates, which are coming soon, we are updating the language associated with Find Friends — to be more explicit. In place of ‘Scan your contacts,’ we will use ‘Upload your contacts’ and ‘Import your contacts’ (in Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android, respectively).”
She also pointed out that Twitter users can remove the information from their contacts database on Twitter using the companies own Remove tool on the Import Contacts page. The data may still be stored in backups however, something El Reg has yet to hear from Twitter about.
Applications that harvest address books are the latest witch-hunt de jour, after mobile social networking company Path was forced to admit last week that it was harvesting and storing user’s address details without asking. The company also promised to fix the problem with its next update. ®