In order to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Twitter has started blocking its users who were underage when they created their accounts even if they now meet the minimum age requirements. The company started to suspend the accounts from 25th May, the same day when the regulations came into effect. The company used Machine Learning algorithms to find the users who have submitted their age falsely meaning that they were below 13 years old at the time of subscribing.
“I received a message saying my account was now locked and would require parental consent in order to process my data, or my account will be deleted,” one user, who is now 20, told the Guardian. He had signed up for an account in 2009 without entering a birthday, and then put a fake age in once the company introduced the ability to add that information, before recently updating it to his actual birthday.
The company refused to publicly comment on the topic but a source confirmed that it had updated its policy to lock the accounts created by children who had claimed that they were above the age of 13 years when they signed up. The issue of data privacy is more serious now more than ever because of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal and it is believed that Twitter thought that only way to comply with GDPR was to remove the accounts that may have been created by underage users.
This shows that Twitter is issuing major data protection changes to comply with the GDPR regulations unlike Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram who have failed to provide responses when queried as to whether that they are complying with the GDPR policies. Twitter is currently working as a permanent solution and some individuals affected by the locked accounts have reported that they were able to get the access to their account back with parental consent.
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