Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thwarting Twitter’s Upcoming Data Collection

Josh Centers:

But with Twitter’s recent announcement of App Graph, another explanation for the company’s desire to dominate the user experience has appeared: Twitter wants to collect personal information from your devices. App Graph will use the official Twitter app to gather the list of apps installed on your iOS devices and send that list back to Twitter. (It seems to do this by scanning a list of x-callback-urls — a method of inter-app communications developed before iOS 8’s Extensibility functions.)

Fortunately, it won’t (yet) gather any information from the apps themselves, and the “feature” will be easy to disable. The Twitter app respects the Limit Ad Tracking setting in Settings > Privacy > Advertising, and will not gather app information if that setting is enabled.

I only have the official Twitter app installed for login verification. I wish I could uninstall it completely because the bug where it always shows notification badges in the icon.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

The paranoid amongst us would, in fact, suggest that Twitter designed their very peculiar — and, at the time, incomprehensible — brand of two-factor authentication so as to force power users to use the official Twitter app. After all, even Facebook, the kings of data collection, allow you to use any Google Authenticator-compatible app to generate login codes!

@François It’s especially annoying because the Twitter app buries its authentication feature so deep in the menus. Thanks for letting me know that Facebook can work with Google Authenticator.

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