Twitter Accidentally Exposes Partial User Phone Numbers

This year has involved data breach after data breach, so much so that Google has decided to finally lay its foray into social media, Google+, to rest. One name that seemed pleasantly absent from this list is Twitter. However, it seems that Twitter making it to 2019 without a huge data breach scandal of its own would have simply been too good to be true. A Twitter account was recently caught spreading malware through memes, and now an error in Twitter’s code has made partial user phone numbers accessible to cyber attackers.

The part of the phone number that could be revealed due to this flaw in security is the country code. While this does not seem like an important part of the number in general, it does give a very important piece of information: what country the user of the account is based in. This can be downright dangerous for a lot of people. This is because of the fact that Twitter is often a place where whistleblowers and other individuals that need to keep their locations hidden voice their thoughts and communicate with these people.
"We have become aware of an issue with one of our support forms which may have been used to discover the country code of certain people’s phone numbers and whether the account had been locked by Twitter. This issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data.", announced Twitter in a tweet.
Twitter was considered a safe place for people to voice their opinions but this flaw in the security of the site could potentially make the platform a lot less trustworthy for privacy-savvy users.

One problem is that country codes are generally not considered sensitive information, so Twitter could potentially get away with this without having to worry about fines or any other kinds of penalties. While the flaw was fixed within a day, being discovered on the 15th of November and fixed by the 16th of the same month, Twitter still needs to be held accountable for something this serious. Also, users will need to work harder to protect their data.

Twitter bug leaks phone number country codes
Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
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