X (née Twitter) wants to collect your biometric data and employment history

X to collect more user data as Musk teases plan to offer video and audio calls.

X, the social network that you can access at twitter.com, is planning to collect users' biometric information, employment history, and educational history, according to an updated privacy policy. "Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes," the new policy says.

X posted the new version of its privacy policy yesterday, saying it will go into effect on September 29. The current privacy policy that doesn't include collecting biometric data and employment history will remain in effect until September 29.

The new policy says that X "may collect and use your personal information (such as your employment history, educational history, employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement, and so on) to recommend potential jobs for you, to share with potential employers when you apply for a job, to enable employers to find potential candidates, and to show you more relevant advertising."

The biometric data and employment history disclosures are listed in the section, "information you provide us." The policy does not say what kind of biometric data X would collect. We contacted X about the changes and will update this article if we get a response.

X to offer video and audio calls

The privacy policy changes are being made as X plans to offer video and audio calls. "Video & audio calls coming to X," owner Elon Musk wrote today. The call feature will work on iOS, Android, Mac, and PCs and will not require a phone number, according to Musk.

"X is the effective global address book" for the forthcoming video and audio call service, Musk wrote. Musk has previously described plans to turn X into an "everything app."

The changes could face scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. Before Musk bought Twitter, the company agreed to settlements in 2011 and 2022 with the FTC over privacy violations. For example, the 2022 settlement requires assessments of risks to privacy, security, and confidentiality before Twitter launches new or modified products and services.

Several of Twitter's top privacy and security executives resigned in November 2022, reportedly over concerns that Musk's rapid rollout of new features without full security reviews would violate the FTC consent decree. Musk's massive layoffs also fueled a new FTC investigation into whether the company has enough resources to protect users' privacy.

Musk tries to terminate privacy settlement

In mid-July, Musk's X Corp. asked a federal judge to terminate or modify the 2022 settlement with the FTC and to prevent the FTC from deposing Musk. The motion claimed the FTC's ongoing investigation into X "has spiraled out of control and become tainted by bias." A hearing on the motion is scheduled for November 16.

Separately, a pending lawsuit filed by a Twitter user in July alleges that X collects biometric data without properly notifying users in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The class-action complaint was filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit says that since 2015, Twitter has used software to restrict not-safe-for-work images. The analysis software "makes use of the biometric identifiers and biometric information of any individual included in each photo," but the company has not adequately informed users "that it collects and/or stores their biometric identifiers in every photograph containing a face that is uploaded to Twitter," the complaint said.