protected tweets twitter security


Twitter may have exposed Android users’ private tweets

Twitter isn't sure how many users have been affected.


Joseph Knoop


Published Jan 20, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 9:07 pm CDT

Twitter is starting 2019 off on a troubling note. Between socially insensitive “triggered” jokes and a planned redesign that will turn the site into a Facebook-lite, the social media giant has had a rough start. Now, the BBC reports that Android users’ private tweets may have been exposed.

The company announced Thursday that a security flaw allowed some Android users’ protected tweets to be visible.

“We’ve become aware of an issue in Twitter for Android that disabled the ‘Protect your Tweets’ setting if certain account changes were made,” Twitter wrote in a blog post.

“You may have been impacted by this issue if you had protected Tweets turned on in your settings, used Twitter for Android, and made certain changes to account settings such as changing the email address associated with your account between November 3, 2014, and January 14, 2019. People on iOS or the web were not impacted. We fixed the issue on January 14, and we’ll provide updates if other important information becomes available.”

Twitter added that it’s posting about the issue on its public blog because it can’t confirm every account possibly impacted by the security flaw. Twitter says it encourages users to review their privacy settings to ensure they’re not accidentally exposed.

It is surprising that the flaw went unnoticed for over four years. But over the past few months, several security flaws in Android security have been exposed.

“We’re very sorry this happened and we’re conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again,” the statement reads.

Protected tweets can be toggled in the Twitter settings page, and are ostensibly only meant to be seen by accounts on your approved followers list, with subsequent followers requesting your approval.




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*First Published: Jan 20, 2019, 12:13 pm CST