Consumer Watchdog

What to know about Threads’ data privacy policy

Threads collects a lot of data about users. Here's what to know.

Tero Vesalainen |

On July 5th, 2023, Meta launched the new social media platform, Threads. Positioned as a direct competitor to Twitter, Threads saw over 100 million sign ups in its first week. But as a new social media platform takes center stage, it is important to stay aware of what data the app can collect from you and what it does with it.

What Data Can Threads Collect?

Signing up for a Threads account enables Meta to track and collect a variety of your data. The app’s data privacy disclosure lists all the data it can collect about users. This information can include anything from profile details to your location. Here is some of the most noteworthy data that the app can collect from you:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Health and fitness information
  • Financial information
  • Search history
  • Interaction with content
  • Cameras 
  • GPS location information
  • Photos
  • IP information
  • Type of device being used
  • Bluetooth Signals
  • WiFi access points
  • Personal demographics

The platform signs up users by connecting an already existing Instagram account. This allows Threads access to other data associated with your Instagram. Deleting your Threads account also means deleting your Instagram. This encourages people to stay active across other Meta social media networks.

READ: I Deleted My Instagram as a Teenager – Here’s Why

Why is Threads collecting my data?

According to Threads Supplemental Privacy Policy, Threads authorizes Third Party Services to have access to such information, enabling hyper targeted ads. Once a user interacts with content or people from a Third Party Service, it is directing Meta to send that user’s information to services not controlled by Meta. Examples of a Third Party Service are investors, vendors, and service providers to the company.

This is the business model of Meta’s other products, including Facebook and Instagram.

What privacy concerns are associated with Threads?

As of right now, Threads is barred from the European Union due to uncertainty regarding how it uses personal data. Due to the E.U. ‘s Digital Markets Act, which lists provisions for sharing a user’s data across multiple social networking platforms, Threads’ launch is currently on hold.

Meta, Thread’s parent company, is also on the back end of a $1.3 billion dollar lawsuit for transferring data from the E.U. to the U.S., as the act breaches General Data Protection Regulation Laws.

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