Privacy Matters: A Closer Look at Threads’ Privacy Policy in Comparison to Twitter and Rival Platforms

by / ⠀Featured News / July 7, 2023
Privacy Matters: A Closer Look at Threads' Privacy Policy in Comparison to Twitter and Rival Platforms

In today’s digital age, privacy has become a growing concern for social media users. With recent controversies surrounding Twitter’s user experience and an increase in hate speech, many users are seeking alternative platforms that prioritize their privacy. Meta, the parent company of popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, has introduced Threads, a new social media app that aims to provide a Twitter-like experience while addressing privacy concerns. In this article, we will take a closer look at Threads’ privacy policy and compare it to other platforms to help you make an informed decision about your online presence.

Introducing Threads: Meta’s Alternative to Twitter –┬áThreads, developed by Meta, is a new social media app that offers an alternative to traditional platforms like Twitter. It aims to attract users who are dissatisfied with the user experience on Twitter, especially with the recent introduction of rate limits and a surge in hate speech. As Meta already owns popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, their foray into a Twitter-like experience is likely to garner attention from a wide range of users.

Threads was built to function as a node in the cross-platform online community known as the Fediverse. Threads users now have a more unified online experience because to this integration’s streamlined communication and interaction across many social networking platforms.

Understanding Threads’ Privacy Policy – When it comes to privacy, it’s essential to understand the data that an app collects and how it is used. Threads potentially collects a wide assortment of personal data that remains connected to you. This includes information such as your purchase history, physical address, browsing history, and even sensitive information like your race, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, religion, and biometric data. These data points are mentioned in the information available on the Apple App Store.

However, it’s important to note that Threads falls under Meta’s larger privacy policy, which also covers their other social media platforms. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the privacy policy, you can refer to the complete document here. Additionally, Threads has its own supplemental privacy policy, which you can find here. It’s worth noting that while you can deactivate your Threads account at any time, deleting your Threads account requires deleting your Instagram account as well.

Data Collected by Threads: A Comparison – To provide you with a clearer picture of the data collected by Threads, let’s explore the data points mentioned in the App Store. It’s crucial to remember that the data collection by Meta for Threads is comparable to the data collected by their other apps like Facebook and Instagram.

For Android users, the data collection process on Threads is different compared to Apple users. The Google Play Store allows Android users to have more control over their personal data by providing granular options to toggle what information is shared with apps.

The following table summarizes the data linked to you, as mentioned in the App Store:

Data Linked to You
Third-Party Advertising
– Purchase History
– Financial Information
– Location Information (Precise Location, Coarse Location)
– Contact Information (Name, Email Address, Physical Address, Phone Number, Other User Contact Info)
– Contacts
– User Content (Gameplay Content, Photos or Videos, Other User Content)
– Web Search History
– Browser History
– Identifiers (Device ID, User ID)
– Usage Data (Advertising Data, Product Interaction, Other Usage Data)
– Diagnostics (Performance Data, Crash Data, Other Diagnostic Data)
– Other Data

It’s important to note that while this table provides insight into the data collected by Threads, it is not an exhaustive list. For a more detailed understanding, we recommend referring to the privacy policy documents mentioned earlier.

Threads vs. Other Platforms: Addressing Privacy Concerns – With various alternative platforms emerging in response to privacy concerns on traditional social media networks, it’s essential to compare Threads’ privacy policy with its competitors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular alternatives:

  1. Bluesky: Bluesky is a decentralized social media protocol that aims to give users more control over their data. Unlike Threads, Bluesky operates on a different model, where users’ data is distributed across multiple servers, reducing the risk of a single point of failure.
  2. Mastodon: Mastodon is an open-source social media platform that focuses on decentralization and user privacy. It allows users to create their own instances, giving them greater control over their data and the ability to interact within specific communities.
  3. Spill: Spill is a privacy-focused social media platform that prioritizes anonymity and data protection. It promotes open conversations without the fear of personal information being shared or misused.

While each of these platforms has its own unique features and approaches to privacy, it’s important to thoroughly review their privacy policies and terms of service to determine which one aligns best with your needs.

Taking Control of Your Privacy – As a user, it’s crucial to be aware of the data you share with social media platforms and the implications it may have on your privacy. Here are some steps you can take to enhance your privacy:

  1. Review Privacy Policies: Carefully read and understand the privacy policies and terms of service of the platforms you use. Look for transparency in data collection and usage practices.
  2. Adjust Privacy Settings: Take advantage of the privacy settings available on social media platforms to control what information is shared with others. Regularly review and update these settings to align with your preferences.
  3. Limit Personal Information: Be mindful of the personal information you share online. Avoid sharing sensitive details that could potentially be used for identity theft or other malicious purposes.
  4. Use Two-Factor Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication on your accounts to add an extra layer of security and protect your data from unauthorized access.
  5. Regularly Update Apps: Keep your apps and devices updated with the latest security patches and software updates to minimize vulnerabilities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Is Threads available for both Android and Apple users?

Yes, Threads is available for both Android and Apple users. You can download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Q2: Can I deactivate my Threads account without deleting my Instagram account?

Yes, you can deactivate your Threads account without deleting your Instagram account. However, if you want to completely delete your Threads account, you will need to delete your Instagram account as well.

Q3: How does Threads’ privacy policy compare to other social media platforms?

Threads’ privacy policy is similar to the privacy policies of other social media platforms owned by Meta, such as Facebook and Instagram. It collects a wide range of personal data linked to you, including sensitive information. It’s important to review the privacy policies of different platforms to make an informed decision about your privacy.

Q4: Can I control what personal data is shared with Threads on Android?

Yes, Android users have more control over their personal data on Threads compared to Apple users. The Google Play Store allows users to granularly toggle what information is shared with apps.

Q5: Are there alternative platforms to Threads that prioritize privacy?

Yes, there are alternative platforms like Bluesky, Mastodon, and Spill that prioritize user privacy and offer different approaches to data protection. It’s important to review the privacy policies and terms of service of these platforms to determine which one aligns best with your privacy needs.

In conclusion, privacy is a significant concern in today’s digital landscape, and Threads aims to address these concerns by providing a Twitter-like experience with enhanced privacy features. By understanding Threads’ privacy policy and comparing it to other platforms, you can make an informed decision about your online presence. Remember to review privacy settings, limit personal information sharing, and stay updated on security practices to take control of your privacy in the digital world.

First reported on Wired

About The Author

Joe Rothwell
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