Why companies like twitter are suddenly updating their privacy policies gas in babies how to get rid of it

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Q: Twitter is “updating” its privacy policy and terms of use. Perhaps your readers would be interested in how to configure their accounts for the maximum privacy (and what they might be sacrificing in the process). I know I would. ~ Steve Lang

The push comes a few weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress about privacy breaches. But we’re also about a month before Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect on May 25. The GDPR, as mentioned in earlier in Tech+, gives Europeans the “right to be forgotten” and force tech companies to erase certain user data online.

“This (GDPR) regulation has forced companies to take privacy more seriously and change how they operate their businesses because the GDPR has the necessary ‘teeth’ to be effective: if a company violates the GDPR it can receive fines of up to 4 percent of its global revenue,” Carder said in an email. “The second is related to the recent issues with Facebook, their disclosure of personal information to Cambridge Analytica, and Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony.”

Privacy and data collection has been thrust into mainstream attention with these two events and if you didn’t care who had access to your data before, now’s the time. As Baber Amin, with Denver cybersecurity firm Ping Identity, reminds us, “The Internet Never Forgets — just because you delete something from Twitter (or anywhere else) doesn’t mean it’s gone.”

Of course, a key purpose of Twitter is to share your thoughts publicly and follow, like or comment on other users’ public thoughts. If get that and tweet often. If you want to follow me on Twitter and see what I think is important, I’m at twitter.com/Gadgetress.

But in checking my own privacy and security settings in Twitter for this, I noticed a wealth of new options. I prefer to be as generic as possible and have always opted out of personalized ads. But even for me, a new feature called “Personalization and Data” has defaulted my settings to “Track where you see Twitter content across the web.” Decheck!

Lesson: Check your privacy and security settings every few months for whatever digital services you use. There’s always something new. As I relooked at the numerous new options, I saw that Twitter reminds users that even if you turn off personalization, it will track the device you’re using, your IP address and your likes, shares, and “content you’ve read.” Of course, if you choose to share, Twitter also tracks your email, phone number, contacts and public profile.

• While you’re at it, beef up the security of your Twitter account by using two-factor authentication. You’ll not only need to remember your password, but use a second device (via text to a phone or using a smartphone app) to confirm your identity.

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