X To Collect Biometric Data, Employment, Education History

Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, is seeking user permission to begin collecting biometric data, as well as people’s employment and school history.

The change in Twitter’s privacy policy was noticed by Bloomberg, and marks an expansion of the type of data being collected by the platform.

The updated policy page indicates the change will go into force on 29 September 2023, and the expanded data capture seems to be part of Elon Musk’s desire to turn X into the ‘everything app’.

Biometric data

Just days ago Elon Musk revealed that X planned to add audio and video calling to the app, without the need for a telephone number.

He didn’t reveal timeframes for that feature.

As part of this redevelopment of Twitter, the platform is also expanding its data capture practices.

The current privacy policy, which can be read here, makes no mention of the collection of biometric data or information related to employment history.

But this will change later this month.

“Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes,” the company said in its new policy.

That said, X did not define what it considers biometric data, although it is commonly accepted to be data about a person’s face, eyes and fingerprints.

Premium feature

Elon Musk’s X 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 told Bloomberg in a statement. “This will also help X fight impersonation attempts and make the platform more secure.”

Bloomberg also noted that Elon Musk’s X Corp was named in a proposed class action suit last month alleging that X wrongfully captured, stored and used Illinois residents’ biometric data, including facial scans, without consent.

The lawsuit alleges that X “has not adequately informed individuals” that it “collects and/or stores their biometric identifiers in every photograph containing a face.”

Schools, Employment

And it is not just biometric data Twitter is seeking to capture.

The privacy policy adds that X may also collect “your employment history, educational history, employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement.”

This is expected to be for the job search features that Elon Musk has hinted at including, in the months ahead.

Indeed, X rolled out the beta of a hiring feature for verified companies last week.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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