Monday, 05 Jun 2023

Twitter admits to security incident involving Circles tweets

Twitter admits to security incident involving Circles tweets


Twitter admits to security incident involving Circles tweets

A privacy breach at Twitter published tweets that were never supposed to be seen by anyone but the poster's closest friends to the site at large, the company has admitted after weeks of stonewalling reports.

The site's Circles feature allows users to set an exclusive list of friends and post tweets that only they can read. Similar to Instagram's Close Friends setting, it allows users to share private thoughts, explicit images or unprofessional statements without risking sharing them with their wider network.

But, in an email to affected users seen by the Guardian, Twitter admitted tweets had escaped this containment. "A security incident that occurred earlier this year," the email says, "may have allowed users outside of your Twitter Circle to see tweets that should have otherwise been limited to the Circle to which you were posting."

For weeks, users had been reporting Circles tweets receiving likes and views from accounts that should not have been able to see them. Twitter, whose press office has been largely destaffed and set to autoreply to requests for comment with a poo emoji, did not acknowledge the reports.

Now, the company says the issue "was identified by our security team and immediately fixed so that these tweets were no longer visible outside of your Circle".

"Twitter is committed to protecting the privacy of the people who use our service, and we understand the risks that an incident like this can introduce and we deeply regret this happened," the company said.

The email did not address separate reports that similar privacy breaches were occurring to "private" accounts, whose tweets should not be displayed to anyone save for their approved followers.

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