X Seeks Biometric Data and Job History from Its Users

In a move that has taken many by surprise, the social media platform, X—previously known as Twitter—has announced its intention to broaden its data collection scope

by Faruk Imamovic
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X Seeks Biometric Data and Job History from Its Users
© Getty Images News/Christopher Furlong

In a move that has taken many by surprise, the social media platform, X—previously known as Twitter—has announced its intention to broaden its data collection scope. The company revealed plans to gather biometric and employment details from its vast user base.

This startling disclosure came to light following an update in the platform’s privacy policy.

Diving Deeper into the Data Pool

The revised privacy policy incorporates two fresh sections related to this evolving data compilation practice.

One segment explicitly states, “Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes”. A far cry from the conventional collection of likes, retweets, and follower counts, X's ambitions are now steering towards an intimate probe into its users' physical attributes and professional realms.

The employment-focused segment is another game-changer. Under the umbrella of “job applications,” X expressed its desire to archive details about users’ employment trajectory and educational background. The motivation behind this, as elucidated by the platform, is to present users with prospective job opportunities.

They intend to utilize data concerning “employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement, and so on”. This serves a dual purpose: to recommend potential job vacancies to users and to provide third-party employers with access to this treasure trove of information.

An added layer to this is the potential for even more precise advertising targeting.

Premium Verification: A Leap into Advanced Security

However, it’s not just the standard user base that X is focusing on. For the elite group subscribed to X Premium, the platform is offering an option that could be seen as a leap into advanced security measures or a dive into deeper waters of privacy concerns.

X Premium subscribers can now provide a government-issued ID alongside a selfie, which the company claims will be used for verification. This isn’t just a simple verification, though. In a statement to CNN, the company declared its intent to extrapolate biometric data from both the government ID and the selfie image.

“This will additionally help us tie, for those that choose, an account to a real person by processing their Government issued ID,” the company explained. Such a move, they believe, will bolster efforts against impersonation and elevate the platform’s security parameters.

With privacy increasingly becoming a paramount concern in the digital age, X's new direction promises to reshape the discourse on personal data in the social media ecosystem. Only time will tell if users embrace or resist these changes.

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