Twitch launches privacy center to educate users about their personal data

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In the name of transparency and accessibility, Twitch launched its new privacy center to educate users after conducting “extensive research” and finding that many of its users had no idea how their personal data was collected and used.

privacy centerThe app, which launched Thursday, is designed to provide “clear, actionable information” about privacy rights, Mel de Leon, Twitch’s principal product manager of privacy, said in a statement to TechCrunch. The project was created with “meaningful transparency and usability”.

“Community feedback was at the core of our development process,” De Leon said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We talked with people who use our service, and then created explainers that addressed the questions they raised – how to keep track of privacy preferences, how user data is used at Twitch, and the basis level, how personal data is defined.”

Twitch’s user base is younger; company reports In 2022, more than 70% of its viewers were between 18 and 34 years old. Personal data may not be as much of a concern for their users, even if they are avid gamers.

Twitch’s new Privacy Center is set to inform users about what their personal data is, and how it may be collected and used.

Through surveys and small group settings, Twitch concluded that many creators and viewers remembered making privacy selections, but did not remember what they selected or how to check what they selected. He also didn’t know how “personal data” was defined on Twitch and the Internet. Twitch said that users also did not have a “good understanding” of how their data was being used on the platform.

“We think privacy information is important to understand, otherwise it’s not really useful. Regardless of intent, if information is not shared in a clear and accessible way, it is of little value to the end user, and even less actionable, Twitch said in the press release. “We weren’t looking to create more work for our community or provide a complex web under the guise of ‘transparency’. So, we worked a lot to get rid of the legal and corporate jargon.

Regulating social media platforms is a beast, and sites like Twitch follow guidelines set by federal agencies and local laws that may vary by country and region. To comply with EU General Data Protection Regulation, websites are required to obtain user consent to collect and use their personal data. While most sites prompt users to opt in or out of data collection, pop-ups do not always explain why. What Users are consenting.

Twitch’s Privacy Center includes resources about how the data users share can be managed, and the company said it distinguishes between “common, good-to-know definitions” that apply to the broader social apply to the media landscape, and distinguish between “in-depth” information about Twitch. specific user. The Privacy Center is also a hub for users to control their own data collection and use, and gives users access to copies of their personal data and provides clear explanations for its opt out tools. For example, opting out of ad tracking on mobile devices is explained as “opting out of having your personal data used to enhance your advertising experience on the Twitch platform.”

The Privacy Center also establishes “Privacy Principles”, which Twitch says “underpin and guide” its ongoing privacy work. In addition to “transparency,” “control,” and “choice,” Twitch promises to “design with privacy in mind” by building products that minimize the collection of personal information, securing user data. And allow users to delete their existing data.

Twitch continued, “Our community needs to be able to trust that Twitch is doing the right thing to keep their personal data safe, that we’re respecting their privacy rights, and that we’re providing them with information about their Twitch experience. Providing the information needed to make informed decisions.”

Of course, it’s fair to view any social platform’s data collection promises with skepticism. After all, many sites have publicly claimed that they are not collecting and using their users’ data, while still continuing to collect and use their users’ data. For example, TikTok denies using biometric data obtained from users, but its privacy policy includes a vague section that says it does not use “biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints”. Can collect. The policy does not explain why this information may be collected or how it may be shared.

In the case of Twitch, the Privacy Center alone is not a guarantee that users’ personal data will remain secure. But the effort to educate its young and possibly naïve audience about their privacy rights is a start.

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