X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is planning to collect huge swathes of user information starting on 29 September to help it identify users.
“Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes,” the updated policy reads.
Biometric information is usually used to describe a person’s physical characteristics but X hasn’t provided any details about how it plans to collect the information.
The company told Bloomberg that the biometrics are for premium users and will give them the option to submit their government ID and an image in order to add a verification layer. Biometric data may be extracted from both the ID and image for matching purposes, Bloomberg reported.
“This will additionally help us tie, for those that choose, an account to a real person by processing their government-issued ID,” X said in a statement to Bloomberg. “This will also help X fight impersonation attempts and make the platform more secure.”
X’s new policies also promised advertisers improved targeting by trawling huge amounts of personal information.
“We may collect and use your personal information (such as your employment history, educational history, employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement, and so on) to recommend potential jobs for you, to share with potential employers when you apply for a job, to enable employers to find potential candidates, and to show you more relevant advertising,” the updated policy reads.
This change — particularly the hiring part — seems to be part of Musk’s plan to create an “Everything” app that would form a fundamental part of life for users.
However, the use of personal information to inform targeted advertising has been incredibly controversial and saw Facebook run foul of EU law in the Cambridge Analytica scandal in the run-up to the UK’s Brexit referendum.
The fact that X has now lifted its previous ban on paid political adverts should not be lost on anyone.
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