Threads collect a lot of data, which raises concerns about data collection.
Meta’s Threads gained over 100 million signups within five days of its launch. Before its launch, many users and privacy experts raised concerns about the platform’s data collection policies. If you are unfamiliar with Threads, it is a microblogging site launched on July 6, 2023. Users can sign up and log in using their Instagram accounts.
It is a standalone app built on Instagram’s infrastructure. Like Twitter, Threads allows you to post 500-character text, images up to 10, and 5-minute-long videos. However, it lacks features like Discover, Text, Trending, DMs, Multiple accounts support, web apps, and more.
Within the app, Threads collects many user data, some of which are unsafe. This is one of the reasons why the company still needs to release Meta’s Threads due to the EU data collection policy. Let us look at the data collected to determine if it is safe or not.
The app collects a lot of in-app activity, including the content you post, view, interact with, and metadata about your content. This expands to logs of the ads you interact with, the features you use, and the type of content you record via camera roll.
Meta has said they collect messages users send and receive on the app, including threads, via the voice-enabled feature. They also collect how long users spend on the Threads app.
Threads collect users’ names, email addresses, mobile numbers, and other settings preferences, which Instagram manages. Since Threads uses Instagram’s infrastructure for usernames and names, Instagram and Threads are separate if you have both.
Threads also monitor interactions outside of the platform. For example, suppose you interact with Threads via a third-party service, such as following Threads users or interacting with Threads content. In that case, the platform collects that information, including your account, profile, IP address, and profile pictures. This includes data collection through a browser.
The app, browser, and Device Information
- Threads collect the device and software being used on your device to give you access to Threads.
- It also checks what you have been doing on your device to identify bots.
- It also checks the device identifier, such as Family IDs.
- It also checks for signals from your device, such as Bluetooth, GPS, and nearby Wi-Fi access points.
- It also gathers information shared via device settings, such as GPS location and camera access.
- Lastly, it monitors network information, including IP addresses, location-related information (even when location sharing is disabled), and app performance information on your device.
That is enough for App, Browser, and Device notifications since all of these are concerning, such as location-related information, even when location sharing is disabled on your device. It continues, as it also includes information like your IP address and city of residence that you provide upon signup. Your real-time location is recorded to personalise and improve your products.
How Threads Manage or Share Your Data
The company says that data like posts, likes, and replies are shared publicly with third-party services. Threads also share information, including names, usernames, profile pictures, and bios.
Ultimately, all social media and big-tech corporations do this kind of stuff, which means they have their own risks and drawbacks. Companies collect and share data with third-party companies, including Meta, TikTok, Twitter, and many more. Despite this, you should be aware of the data you post online about yourself and be cautious if something is presented to you.
If you want to delete your Threads profile after reading this, you will be shocked to know that you can only eliminate your Threads once you delete your Instagram account. However, there is a workaround for this, which you can read about here. This will not be something you can avoid, as your in-app activity, current location, device information, and more, along with all sorts of data from users, have already been shared and stored to improve its social media.
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