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Twitter Ads Transparency Centre Lets Users View who Bought its Ads

To view the ads from any advertiser, users can simply search for a specific handle and see the creative for all ad campaigns that have run within the last seven days from that handle

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Twitter is currently focused on information quality ahead of the elections.
Twitter is currently focused on information quality ahead of the elections. Pixabay
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Twitter has launched an “Ads Transparency Centre” which will enable users across the globe to identify who is advertising on its platform, the microblogging site said in a blog post.

The new transparency tools will let users search for and see who is buying ads, with even more detail on US federal political campaign ads that includes billing information, ad spend, impression data per tweet as well as demographic targeting data.

“Everyone around the world will have access to the Ads Transparency Centre. No login or Twitter account will be required, making it very simple for people to have clear insight and details on who is advertising on Twitter,” Bruce Falck, GM, Revenue Product and Engineering, Twitter, wrote in the blog post.

To view the ads from any advertiser, users can simply search for a specific handle and see the creative for all ad campaigns that have run within the last seven days from that handle.

However, “if an ad is reported and taken down from Twitter, it will be tombstoned in the Ads Transparency Centre within approximately 24 hours. If the account was suspended, Tweets will not be shown in the centre. The same applies to deleted users and tweets,” Falck said.

Twitter Ads Transparency Centre Lets Users View who Bought its Ads
Representational image. Pixabay

Twitter will also add a visual badge and disclaimer information on any ads for US federal political campaigns. The company noted that it will launch a more specific policy for issue ads in the future, and plans to enhance the centre itself.

In addition, Twitter is examining how to adapt and internationalise both political campaigning and issue ads policies.

“We are doing our due diligence to get this right and will have more updates to come. We stay committed to iterating and improving our work in this space, and doing what’s right for our community,” Falck said.

Also Read: Twitter Goes After Spams and Trolls, Some Users to Lose Followers

The company had, last month, announced guidelines for political advertisements on its platform, asking advertisers who wish to target the US with political campaigning ads to file for certification and adhere to fresh rules.

Facebook has also laid down new transparency initiatives, which allow users to see the active ads a Page is running and flag suspicious ones.

As part of the new initiatives, the social networking giant said users will be able to see the ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and its partner network, even if those ads are not targeted at them. (IANS)

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Tech Giants to join Data Transfer Project (DTP) To Help Users Manage Data

The Data Transfer Project uses services' existing APIs and authorisation mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service's API.

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According to Google, the project will let users "transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it". (Wikimedia Commons)

To help billions of users manage their data and help them transfer that into and out of online services without privacy issues, four tech giants — Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter — on Friday announced to join the open source initiative called Data Transfer Project (DTP).

In the early stages at the moment, the Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption.

“Using your data from one service when you sign up for another still isn’t as easy as it should be. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re participating in the Data Transfer Project,” said Steve Satterfield, Privacy and Public Policy Director at Facebook in a statement.

The initiative comes at a time when data-sharing is making headlines — be it the massive Cambridge Analytica data scandal or third-party apps accessing users’ data at various platforms — amid countries announcing new data-protection laws like the European General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR).

Moving data between any two services can be complicated because every service is built differently and uses different types of data that may require unique privacy controls and settings.

“For example, you might use an app where you share photos publicly, a social networking app where you share updates with friends, and a fitness app for tracking your workouts,” said Satterfield.

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Moving data between any two services can be complicated because every service is built differently. Pixabay

“These are the kinds of issues the Data Transfer Project will tackle. The Project is in its early stages, and we hope more organisations and experts will get involved,” he added.

The Data Transfer Project uses services’ existing APIs and authorisation mechanisms to access data. It then uses service specific adapters to transfer that data into a common format, and then back into the new service’s API.

According to Google, the project will let users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it”.

The tech giants also released a white paper on this project.

“The future of portability will need to be more inclusive, flexible, and open. Our hope for this project is that it will enable a connection between any two public-facing product interfaces for importing and exporting data directly,” read the white paper.

According to Damien Kieran, Data Protection Officer at Twitter, right now, much of the online products and services we use do not interact with each other in a coherent and intuitive fashion.

“Information that is housed on one platform cannot be easily and securely transferred to other services. This is not a positive collective experience for the people who use our services and we are keen to work through some of the challenges as an industry,” Twitter said.

Also Read-Google, Facebook Have Been Using “Dark Patterns”: Report

The Data Transfer Project was formed in 2017 to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want. (IANS)