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If you use Twitter, the company knows a lot about you.
It knows where you've been, the advertisers you're interested in and more. We're going to show you how to find out what it knows, download that information.
It's important to understand what social media companies know about you, particularly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data leak, where political data research firm Cambridge Analytica obtained information on more than 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge or Facebook's authorization.
After some digging, I discovered that Twitter knows:
This shows when I created my account, down to the exact minute. My gender, my age, the languages I speak (I only speak English, however) and my profile location.
This is interesting because I just bought a Jeep Wrangler but had no idea that Twitter knew I was searching for cars. It also seems to have access to some sort of shopping list data, though I'm not sure where it's from. Twitter says this is gathered from "shopping decisions, lifestyle, and other online and offline behaviors."
Here's what that means: "When you connect a third-party application to your Twitter account, you are granting that application access to use your account. Depending on its permissions, an authorized application may be able to use your account in various ways, including reading your Tweets, seeing who you follow, updating your profile, posting Tweets on your behalf, accessing your Direct Messages, or seeing your email address."
(The same thing happened to me with Facebook, by the way.)
At the bottom of the page, select "Request your data." It takes a couple of hours and may end up in your Spam folder. For me, I found this was most valuable for seeing every Tweet I'd ever posted, all the way back to the day I joined in 2007. Look at them all:
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