Several companies around the globe are guilty as charged of using phone numbers and the data of customers inappropriately. These companies woo users into using two-factor authentication for privacy reasons. However, not all such stories have ended up well. For example, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) had to pay a fine amounting to $5 billion over the mishandling of the data of its users. Sadly, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is the other one finding itself in such a controversy.
A close outlook into the matter
One outstanding thing about Twitter is how quick it is to admit the sins it commits. Sometime back, it acknowledged that it had stored some user passwords unprotected by mistake. Though these passwords were in plain text and even stored in the company’s internal logging system, they didn’t cause havoc. This shouldn’t sanitize the company’s sins according to market observers. They insist that it was a big mistake because of the data of users needed to be handled carefully.
This time around, Twitter ingested email addresses as well as the phone numbers of users, and they ended up in wrong use. Twitter didn’t give out these details to marketers in a direct way. Instead, the company used the information to help marketers target ads to those using the platform. The move has been criticized by users who believe it was a breach of their privacy.
The data of users need to be secured
Bugs and mistakes happen from time to time, but things shouldn’t be left to blow out of proportion. It seems like some companies have lately been prioritizing their business goals over the privacy of users. Analysts say it is high time larget tech companies take responsibility by undertaking proper data management strategies.
A cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University Matthew Green says it is the right of users to have their data secured.
He opines, “This stuff is like a bank leaving customers’ money lying around and then spending it on snacks. That could happen. We just try to prevent it from happening because, you know, ethics.”
Critics have downplayed the use of the two-factor codes coming in the form of SMS. They think that it isn’t the most secure way of verification. According to them, texts can be easily be intercepted, and that poses a risk. Instead, they propose the use of an authentication app such as Google Authenticator or Authy.