Twitter disclosed in a regulatory filing that it could face a fine of up to $250 million from U.S. authorities over its use of phone numbers and email addresses to target advertisements.
The company received a complaint from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on July 28 alleging it had used data "provided for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising during periods between 2013 and 2019," it said in the filing. Twitter estimates the complaint could result in a loss of between $150 million and $250 million, it said.
The social media company admitted in October 2019 that it had "inadvertently" targeted ads at users through contact details that they provided for security purposes. Twitter users are asked to provide information like their phone number to help secure their account through services such as two-factor authentication.
The FTC confirmed on Tuesday that it is investigating Twitter. The agency previously reached a $5 billion settlement with Facebook—the largest fine in the commission's history—over the company's mishandling of user data.