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X, formerly Twitter, to collect biometric and employment data

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X, the social media platform that was formerly known as Twitter, has announced that it will start collecting biometric and employment data from its users as part of its updated privacy policy. The policy will come into effect on September 29, 2023.

According to the policy, X may collect and use personal information such as a photograph of the user’s face, their government ID, their employment history, educational history, employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement, and so on. The company says that this data will be used for safety, security, identification, verification, job recommendation, and advertising purposes.

X’s owner Elon Musk says that the platform is the “global address book” and that the new features will enhance the user experience and offer more opportunities. He also says that X will soon allow users to make video and audio calls without requiring a phone number.

However, some experts and users have expressed concerns about the privacy implications of X’s data collection. They warn that the biometric and employment data could be misused by employers, hackers, or governments in ways that could harm the users’ rights and interests. They also question the necessity and validity of X’s consent mechanism, which may not be clear or informed enough for the users to understand what they are agreeing to.

X is not the first social media platform to collect biometric data from its users. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have also used facial recognition or other biometric technologies for various purposes such as tagging, filters, or verification. However, X’s move to collect employment data may put it in direct competition with LinkedIn, the professional networking site owned by Microsoft.

X was rebranded from Twitter in 2022 after Musk bought the company for $44 billion. Since then, X has expanded its services beyond social media to include messaging, audio content, financial services, and recruitment. X has over 2 billion active users worldwide.

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