Twitter is testing a verification system for everyone by phone number. has its risks

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Currently, Twitter account verification is only available to high-profile individuals or brands, so most users don’t have the ability to access the blue badge on their profile. Now, the social network has started testing a new verification method aimed at reaching a greater number of users. This advantage, however, comes with a potential privacy issue.

As The Verge explainsJane Manchun Wong, an expert in reverse engineering, has been the one who has discovered this new function. The idea of ​​Twitter, as we can see in the screenshots, is to introduce the tag “verified phone number” under the profile bio. This is not a verification at the level of the blue badge, but it is an alternative that could strengthen the authenticity of the account, making it easier for users to identify whether or not they are dealing with a spam account.

Giving out your phone number is not always a good idea.

Intentions to offer a broader verification method can be a good idea, especially in times when Elon Musk accuses the platform of being plagued by bots. However, the way in which it is intended to be achieved, at least according to the tests, can be a headache for users. Why? Because the verification is done through the phone number, and Twitter has had trouble keeping this information safe lately.

In 2021, a vulnerability in the platform allowed cyber attackers to know which accounts were associated with phone numbers and emails, opening the possibility to a massive collection of private data. Said and done. Later, the data of 5.4 million Twitter accounts began circulating for sale on the dark web. The price? $30,000.

But this has not been Twitter’s only privacy problem. The company was sued by use the phone numbers and email addresses of some of its users to serve targeted advertising. This movement cost him 150 million dollars, after reaching an agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States.

In addition, it should be noted that some Twitter employees have sufficient privileges to access users’ personal data. In the past, this ability has been used to spy on famous peopleand recently an employee was accused of “espionage” after he used his job title to “access the email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth” of users critical of the Saudi government.

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Are our data safe then? It is a difficult question to answer. In the network risks always exist, it is important that users are aware of these and try to mitigate them. For example, when setting up 2-Step Verification, instead of choosing the SMS option (which is not recommended for your safety), better opt for an authenticator app like Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator.

A tweet view counter?

According to Manchun Wong, the social network is also testing a tweet view counter. It is a function similar to the one that we currently find in the “See Tweet statistics” section of our profile, but in this case the data would be public for all users. This new metric would be located at the bottom of the message box, to the right of the comment, retweet, and like icons.

Recall that Twitter has not officially announced the aforementioned functions. These have been discovered in their code, so we will have to wait to find out if they will come true and, if they do, there is a possibility that they will be released with changes. That yes, at least as far as verification is concerned, the former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, had expressed his interest in verifying all users.

Images | Jeremy Bezanger (Unsplash) | Twitter

Currently, Twitter account verification is only available to high-profile individuals or brands, so most users don’t have the ability to…

Currently, Twitter account verification is only available to high-profile individuals or brands, so most users don’t have the ability to…

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