Cybersecurity

Launch of Alternative Twitter Instagram ‘Threads’ Halted in Europe Due to Privacy Concerns

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July 05, 2023Ravie LakshmananPrivacy / Social Media

Privacy Issues

Instagram Threads, Meta’s upcoming Twitter competitor, will not be launching in the European Union due to privacy concerns, according to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC).

That development reported by the Irish Independent, which said the watchdog had contacted the social media giant about the new product and confirmed the release would not expand to the EU “at this time”.

Thread is Meta’s answer to Twitter set to launch on July 6, 2023. It’s billed as a “text-based conversational app” that allows Instagram users to “discuss everything from the topics you’re interested in today to what will be trending tomorrow.”

It also allows users to follow the same accounts they already follow on Instagram. The list for the application has appeared on Apple App Store And Google Play Storethough not yet available for download.

The “App Privacy” section of the App Store indicates that the app is expected to collect various user data, including Health and Wellness, Purchases, Financial Info, Location, Contact Info, Contacts, User Content, Browsing History, Identifiers, Usage Data, Info Sensitive, and Diagnostic.

It is believed that while the DPC has not actively blocked Threads from launching, Meta is taking a careful approach to bringing the service to the region, which has strict privacy protections. It should be noted that Google postponed the launch of the Bard artificial intelligence chatbot in the EU for the same reason.

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The development coincided with a series of policy changes at Twitter, which began blocking unregistered users from using the site on the web and imposing temporary rate caps on logged-in users to limit the number of posts they can view per day.

Elon Musk’s company said it took steps to “detect and eliminate bots and other bad actors that harm the platform” by “deleting people’s public Twitter data to create AI models” and “manipulating people and conversations on the platform in various ways.”

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