What Data Does Twitter Collect?

This guide explains what data Twitter collects from you and breaks down what you can do to keep your data safe.
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It may come as no surprise that Twitter — or X as of 2023 — collects data, including your personal information, direct messages, how you use Twitter, and more. You may have assumed it does given that you need to divulge some information just to use aspects of the service.

But it might be surprising to hear that Twitter collects data from you even when you’re not using Twitter. Furthermore, your data gets regularly exchanged with third-party services, which could be concerning for your privacy.

Thankfully, you can adjust some Twitter privacy settings to minimize the amount of your data that gets collected and shared. Additionally, you should consider signing up for the best data removal services to help keep your data and personal information out of potentially unsavory hands.

In this article
What information does Twitter collect from you?
Other ways to stop Twitter from collecting your data
Why you should care about Twitter collecting user data
FAQs on Twitter’s data collection
Bottom line

What information does Twitter collect from you?

Twitter collects a lot of information from you, both while you’re using the platform and when you’re using other products or services. Twitter explains in its privacy policy that it uses the information it collects for five main reasons, which are:

  1. To operate, improve, and personalize its services
  2. For safety and security
  3. To analyze the effectiveness of its services
  4. To communicate with users about products and services
  5. To conduct research, products testing, and surveys and to perform troubleshooting

The information Twitter collects can be organized into three categories: information the user provides to Twitter, information Twitter collects from user activity, and information Twitter receives from third parties.

Information provided by the user

Creating an account requires sharing information which includes:

  • A display name
  • Username
  • Password
  • Email address and/or phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Display language
  • Third-party single sign-in information (if applicable)

You may choose to share your location in your profile and in posts you make and upload your address book to Twitter to find people you may know. Profile information — including your display name and username — is always public; however, you are free to use either your real name or a pseudonym.

Creating a professional Twitter account requires that you provide a professional category that best describes your account. You may choose to provide other information including a street address, contact email address, and contact phone number. All of this information will always be public.

Here are some additional forms of information that Twitter collects.

  • Payment information: In order to purchase Twitter's paid products and services, you must provide payment information including credit and/or debit card number, card expiration date, CVV code, and billing address.
  • Direct messages and non-public communications: Twitter stores and processes your communications when sending and receiving messages via the direct message feature. This includes information regarding who you communicate with and when.
  • Preferences: When you set or change your preferences in your settings, Twitter collects this information.

Information collected when using Twitter

Twitter collects information on how you use its various products and services. Twitter claims it uses this information to create a more personalized, safe, and respectful experience for all of its users as well as provide users with products and services.

Information Twitter receives from third parties

Some online products and services share your usage information with Twitter. These third parties include ad partners, developers, and publishers as well as other third parties, account connections, and integrations.

Ad partners, developers, publishers

Business and ad partners share certain user information with Twitter, including:

  • Browser cookie IDs
  • Twitter-generated identifiers
  • Hashed user information like email addresses, mobile device IDs, demographic or interest data
  • User activity made on certain websites or apps

Twitter also integrates its advertising technology with some of its ad partners in order to collect similar information directly from their ad partners’ websites or apps.

Other third parties, account connections, and integrations

Twitter also receives information about you from third parties that aren’t ad partners. These parties include other Twitter users, developers, and partners who evaluate content for quality and safety.

Corporate affiliates and other services you may link to your account are also included in these third parties. If you connect your Twitter account to another service, that service may send Twitter information regarding your account on that service.

How to change your Twitter privacy settings

Twitter allows you to download and view an archive of the data it collects on you, also referred to as your X data.

To do so, navigate to your Settings and privacy menu, which also contains other ways to stop certain data collection from Twitter. Follow the steps below to download your data archive.

Download your archive (X) data on iOS or Android:

  1. Tap your profile icon.
  2. Tap Settings and privacy.
    The Twitter settings page.
  3. Select Your account.
    The Twitter Your account page.
  4. Select Download an archive of your data.
  5. Confirm your password, then select Request archive.

Download your archive (X) data on the web:

  1. Log in to your Twitter account in a web browser.
  2. Click the More button, symbolized by three dots on the left side of your window.
  3. Select Settings and privacy.
  4. Select Your Account.
  5. Click Download an archive of your data.
  6. Confirm your password, then select Request archive.

It may take up to 24 hours for Twitter to compile and email you a file containing your archive information.

You can also change your privacy settings from the Settings and privacy menu to limit the amount of your data that Twitter collects and shares. Start by selecting Privacy and safety, then do the following.

  1. Select Ads preferences > uncheck Personalized ads.
    The Twitter ad preferences page.
  2. Select Inferred identity > uncheck Personalize based on your inferred identity.
  3. Select Data sharing with business partners > uncheck Allow additional information sharing with business partners.
    The Twitter Data sharing with business partners page.

Other ways to stop Twitter from collecting your data

If you want to stop Twitter from collecting more of your data, the next place to look is under your Location information. Location information can give Twitter tons of data based on where you travel, what restaurants you go to, where you use certain apps, and so on. It can also tip off other Twitter users of your location in real time if you have certain settings enabled.

  1. Navigate to Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety > Location information.
    The Twitter Location information page.
  2. Uncheck Personalize based on places you’ve been.
  3. Select Add location information to your posts and uncheck Add location information to your posts.
  4. Select Explore settings and uncheck Show content in this location.

To be absolutely sure Twitter isn’t collecting your location data, turn Twitter location settings off in the settings of your mobile device. (Note that turning some of these settings off will limit some functions of Twitter.)

You should also consider not sharing certain information with Twitter unless it’s completely necessary. If you don’t need to share your address, real phone number, email address, and so on, don’t. Otherwise Twitter will collect that information, use it, and share it with third parties. You may need to make some concessions depending on the Twitter services you wish to use.

Best data removal services for keeping your data private

Your personal information gets shared around the internet among companies and data aggregators, making social media safety and privacy difficult. You have the legal right to contact these data aggregators and opt out, but it would be nearly impossible to track all of them down.

This is the work data removal services specialize in: contacting data aggregators on your behalf and opting your personal information out of the available pool of shareable data. Some will even give you detailed DIY instructions on how to tackle this complicated task on your own.

If you want to take back control of your data, consider the best data removal services we’ve listed below to enhance your online security measures.

  • Incogni: Incogni is a straightforward data removal service that checks over 180 data broker websites for traces of your personal data. Not all data broker sites reveal what data they’re holding, which can complicate the process, but Incogni requests your data removal from them whether they detect it or not.

    Get Incogni | Read Our Incogni Review

  • DeleteMe: If you’re interested in less spam in addition to removing your personal data from data brokers, DeleteMe is the perfect service for you. It combines data removal services with phone, email, and credit card masking which can lead to less annoying ads and fewer spam texts and phone calls.

    Get DeleteMe | Read DeleteMe Review
  • Aura: Aura uses its Privacy Assistant feature to continuously submit removal requests to some of the most widely used data brokers on the web. It also provides family identity protection services, antivirus, a virtual private network (VPN), and more, making it a comprehensive suite of online protection.
    Get Aura | Read Aura Review

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Why you should care about Twitter collecting user data

The main concern with Twitter collecting user data is one of general privacy. Twitter may not be unique in how it collects your personal data, but it still doesn’t make it acceptable. At least Twitter’s privacy policy appears to be comprehensive and transparent, and they do give users some options to opt in and out of sharing data.

The more serious concern with Twitter collecting and sharing user data regards cyberthreats and security breaches that can (and have) resulted in user data ending up in the hands of cybercriminals. It’s disconcerting to know your personal information is being shared between Twitter and its third-party partners and that it's possible for bad actors to snatch it up if the security of these businesses falters even a little.

FAQs on Twitter’s data collection


Does Twitter track your browsing history?

Yes, Twitter saves sites you search for and visit in what it refers to as Log Data. Twitter claims to only keep Log Data for a maximum of 18 months.


What kind of data does Twitter keep?

Twitter collects an array of personal information you share with the service, including your email address, phone number, address book contacts, and more. It also collects information on the type of device you use, your IP address and your location information, your mobile carrier, pages visited, cookie information, and much more.

All this data falls under the category of Log Data, which Twitter claims to only keep for a maximum of 18 months.


How is Twitter data collected?

Twitter data is collected in three ways. Some data is provided to Twitter by the user, other data is collected from user activity, and Twitter also receives user data from third parties.


Does Twitter keep deleted search history?

Once you delete your search history in Twitter, there’s no way to retrieve it as it’s removed from your account. That said, Twitter claims to keep Log Data up to 18 months, including your search history.

You may surmise that perhaps your deleted search history exists out of reach in Twitter's Log Data, but it’ll eventually be deleted for good after 18 months.

Bottom line

Twitter collects and shares a considerable amount of your data, including personally identifiable information (PII) like your phone number, street address, and even your IP address.

It’s complicated trying to juggle your personal privacy on the internet while using social media sites like Twitter. The best solution is to protect yourself with a VPN. VPNs mask your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic to make it almost impossible to match your online activity to your identity. If you’re truly concerned with privacy, but you still want to enjoy apps like Twitter, consider downloading a VPN to stay anonymous online.

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Author Details
Juliana Kenny is a seasoned writer with over 14 years of experience writing for cybersecurity topics. Holding a B.A. in both English and French, her work explores the convergence of security and technology. She specializes in endpoint security, cloud security, and networking technologies like secure access service edge (SASE).