X seeks to gather user’s biometric data and history

X Ventures, formerly known as Twitter, is poised to delve into the realm of biometric data collection, a revelation that has ignited concerns and discussions surrounding user privacy. The disclosure came to light with the unveiling of the company’s revamped privacy policy, as initially unearthed by Bloomberg. Alongside this contentious move, the policy outlines X Ventures’ ambition to gather details concerning users’ employment and educational backgrounds, with these alterations set to take effect on September 29.

The updated policy elucidates, “Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes.” Nevertheless, it remains conspicuously vague about the precise nature of this biometric information or the methodology that will be employed for its acquisition.

Typically, biometric information encompasses an individual’s physical characteristics, such as facial features or fingerprints. The absence of specific details has left users grappling with uncertainty regarding the extent to which their biometric data will be harnessed.

In an attempt to address burgeoning concerns, X Ventures indicated that the biometric data collection primarily targets premium users. These select individuals will be afforded the choice to furnish their government-issued identification alongside an image, a composite of information that will furnish an additional layer of verification. For matching purposes, the biometric data may be extracted from both the ID and image, as outlined by Bloomberg’s report.

In a statement to Bloomberg, X Ventures elucidated, “This will additionally help us tie, for those that choose, an account to a real person by processing their government-issued ID. This will also help X fight impersonation attempts and make the platform more secure.”

The decision to tread into the biometric terrain arrives in the wake of X Ventures being ensnared in a proposed class-action lawsuit last month. The lawsuit alleges that the company unlawfully captured, retained, and exploited biometric data, specifically facial scans, of Illinois residents without obtaining the requisite consent. Central to the legal dispute is the contention that X Ventures inadequately informed users of its practice of collecting and storing their biometric identifiers, a charge that has triggered a legal imbroglio.

Beyond the contentious biometric developments, X Ventures’ updated policy delineates its intention to commence the storage of users’ employment and educational histories. This data trove is earmarked to facilitate a myriad of functions, including job recommendations, sharing employment and educational histories with prospective employers, aiding employers in locating potential candidates, and delivering more pertinent advertising.

This latest pivot appears to be intrinsically linked with X Ventures’ beta feature, which empowers verified organisations on the platform to post job listings on their profiles. Complementing this initiative is the emergence of the official @XHiring account, a cog in the grand design of X Ventures CEO Elon Musk, who envisions transforming the platform into an all-encompassing “everything app.” Amidst these shifts, the quest for a delicate balance between convenience and safeguarding user privacy takes centre stage.

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