Twitter Circle data breach: Think twice before tweeting

Onur Demirkol
Apr 11, 2023

Twitter users are reporting that their Circle tweets are appearing on others' timelines. Circle tweets are addressed to a smaller list of people, similar to Instagram's Close Friends, but these tweets haven't been private for some users, caused of a possible data breach.

Circle tweets are meant to be seen by a limited amount of users, but lately, the tweets have sometimes been appearing in public timelines. Which literally kills all the logic behind Twitter's feature.

Twitter user @t3dotgg reported the breach a week ago with an experiment he did on the website. Theo shared a private tweet for a small number of people saying, "If you see this, like it. I'm experimenting." Another user who is not in the Circle liked the tweet and proved that there is a bug that makes private tweets visible to others.

"This is a data breach under EU law."

"This is a data breach under EU law. See the ~$550K fine from the Ireland DPC in 2020 over a permissions bug," said privacy lawyer Whitney Merrill in a tweet. "I got a screenshot from someone who saw my Circle tweet. How can I file a privacy complaint? Or should the EU act on their own?" another user replied to Merrill's tweet. It means that Twitter might have to pay a serious fee due to the data breach.

It is not possible to ask Twitter officials for an update as the company recently laid off all of its public relations team. If you email the current press email address, you will receive a "poop emoji" as a reply.

Twitter has recently launched its Circle feature that allows users to address a smaller list of people close to them. It is similar to Instagram's Close Friends feature for stories. It lets you pick a couple of users that can see your content flagged as "Circle."

"Twitter Circle is a way to send Tweets to select people, and share your thoughts with a smaller crowd. You choose who's in your Twitter Circle, and only the individuals you've added can reply to and interact with the Tweets you share in the Circle," says the company.

Related: Twitter algorithm goes public: Here is how it works

Twitter Circle data breach
Twitter Circle

People share things they don't want everyone on Twitter to see and narrow down their who-can-see list. This might be gossip, an opinion about their work, etc., and this bug can cause unwanted occasions. Users are waiting for Twitter to find a solution as soon as possible.


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  1. Anonymous said on April 11, 2023 at 5:36 pm

    wont by the last fauxpax and its for sure not the most serious one. titter should be handled with zero trust. you cant keep up proper safety if you fire most of the tech staff + have such an erractic narcissistic child as owner.

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