Problem on problem on problem. Social network Musk was caught using extremely sensitive information for advertising targeting

Problems upon problems upon problems. Social network Musk was caught using extremely sensitive information for advertising targeting

December 14, 22:35 Share:

X is in trouble again due to advertising (Photo: NTB/Carina Johansen via REUTERS/File Photo)

The Controversial Approach of Elon Musk's X Platform ( Twitter) advertising has already led to complaints and an outflow of advertisers. Now researchers have discovered another significant problem — the use of data on users' political beliefs.

Researchers from Austrian digital rights nonprofit noyb found that X did not adhere to its own advertising guidelines.. General Terms and Conditions X prohibit using people's political affiliations and/or religious beliefs to target them with advertising. But advertisers on the platform could use exactly this type of sensitive personal data, and one such advertiser was the European Commission. noyb has already filed a corresponding complaint against the platform with the Dutch Data Protection Authority.

“People’s political opinions and religious beliefs are specifically protected by the EU General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR). While this means that these categories of data can be lawfully processed in certain circumstances, they were used to target X users in the Commission's advertising campaign. This violates not only the GDPR, but also the Digital Services Act ( DSA). Therefore, noyb filed a complaint with the Dutch Data Protection Authority. Given the seriousness of the violations and the large number of affected X users, noyb also proposes that the competent authority impose a fine,” noyb said in a statement.

The organization claims that X ( Twitter) collects sensitive data such as political opinions and religious beliefs by tracking user behavior ( clicks, likes and replays). Ultimately, this information allowed the EC's Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs to target advertisements to promote the controversial law.. We are talking about what was proposed last year « Regulation establishing rules for preventing and combating sexual abuse of children» ( CSAR). It was called the most criticized EU law throughout the existence of the bloc.. Critics argued that its implementation could lead to indiscriminate scanning of the content of virtually all types of electronic communications of all users in the EU/EEA.

“The platform's targeting system allowed the Commission to target users based on political views and religious beliefs. More specifically: the ad campaign in question was aimed at X users who were not interested in keywords such as Brexit, Nigel Paul Ferage ( former leader of Reform UK: The Brexit Party — NV) or [Italian Prime Minister] Giorgio Meloni,” say noyb.

As NV Techno wrote, last month the organization Media Matters published a report saying that X placed advertisements from major brands next to content that promoted Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party. This, together with the anti-Semitic scandal surrounding the platform owner Elon Musk, led to the outflow of the largest advertisers from X ( Apple, Sony, IBM, Disney and others refused to buy advertising). Now X ( Twitter) suing Media Matters.

Read also: “Hundreds of fake materials”. Musk responded to accusations of anti-Semitism Musk sued Media Matters for America for accusations of anti-Semitism, which caused his social network X to lose its largest advertisers Elon Musk, after an anti-Semitic scandal, promised to give part of the proceeds to victims in Israel and Gaza