Media Data & Privacy

Twitter gamified its privacy policy — here’s what you need to know

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By Kendra Clark | Senior Reporter

May 12, 2022 | 5 min read

To make its new privacy policy easy to understand for all users, Twitter has refreshed its privacy site — and rolled out a video game to help users understand the updates.

Twitter data game screen

Twitter has rolled out a new browser game designed to educate users on its new privacy policy / Twitter

Two and a half weeks after the announcement that billionaire Elon Musk has agreed to acquire Twitter for some $44bn, the tech platform has rolled out a new privacy policy and updated its terms of service.

But it’s not just any run-of-the-mill update densely packed with legalese — Twitter explicitly decided it wanted to make its policies easy to understand for the average user. In a statement shared with The Drum, Twitter explained that “it shouldn’t take a law degree to understand privacy policies.”

Beyond mellowing out the tone of the language, Twitter has organized its policy into three new, clear-cut sections: data collection, data use and data sharing. The policy has also been expanded to account for various media types beyond tweets. Plus, there is new language to explain how media is personalized on Twitter to serve ads to users.

As part of the effort, the company has also revamped its privacy website to help users navigate this information and understand the data that’s collected about them, how Twitter uses it and how to exercise control over those decisions.

But to elucidate the most complex parts of the platform’s policy and get users engaged, the tech titan has also debuted a new privacy policy video game, brought to life by award-winning game developer Momo Pixel.

"The Twitterverse can be tricky to navigate if you don't know your way around," says the website for the browser game, dubbed Twitter Data Dash. "So, we made a game to help you understand our privacy policy a little better.”

In the game, users are cast as a blue dog named Data — or one of his friends — who move through four levels, trying to bypass bad guys and collect bones along the way. When a user collects the five bones on a given level, a pop-up explains one of Twitter’s privacy rules and directs the user to learn more if they’d like. Each pop-up also includes the option to tweet about game performance.

Level Two on Twitter's data game

​​”Through Twitter Data Dash, we hope to encourage more people around the world to take charge of their personal information on our service and maybe even have a little fun in the process,” the company wrote in a blog post published Wednesday. “Transparency is core to our approach and we want to help you understand the information we collect, how it’s used, and the controls at your disposal. We hope Twitter Data Dash introduces a fun and interactive way to learn about a topic that has historically been anything but.”

The company also said it’s working on new privacy iconography — “visual symbols that represent core settings related to security and privacy across the service.” It’s hoping to create icons that signify specific privacy settings and controls — that become widely recognizable in the same way that most users see a magnifying glass as an indicator of a search function.

“Through research and conversations with stakeholders,” the company wrote, “we learned that those who have used or seen our privacy settings feel more in control of their privacy on Twitter and that there was more we could do to make settings and controls easier to understand.”

The new privacy policy, redesigned privacy site and browser game are available in nine languages, starting this week.

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