Federal regulators Wednesday announced that Twitter will pay a $150 million fine to settle allegations that it deceptively used email address and phone numbers it had collected to target advertising, in one of the largest privacy settlements federal regulators have reached with a tech giant.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department said the company also will be banned from profiting off the “deceptively collected” data and be required to notify the more than 140 million users who were affected that it used their phone numbers and email addresses for advertising, according to a news release about the settlement. And the company will be required to implement and maintain a new privacy program that will require the company to review the security risks of new products.

“The $150 million penalty reflects the seriousness of the allegations against Twitter, and the substantial new compliance measures to be imposed as a result of today’s proposed settlement will help prevent further misleading tactics that threaten users’ privacy,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a release.

The Twitter fine is significantly smaller than the $5 billion fine that the FTC slapped Facebook with in 2019, but is slightly higher than the 2018 settlement that states reached with Uber over a 2016 data breach. The fine amounts to about 13 percent of Twitter’s revenue in the first quarter of 2022. Democrats and critics of the tech industry have warned that such fines are toothless against some of the most well-resourced companies in the world.... Read More: Washington Post