Twitter has announced plans to update its existing private information policy to include private media. This is part of its ongoing efforts to build tools that focus on data privacy and security.

Under the existing policy, publishing other people’s private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs, is not allowed. This includes threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so.

Twitter has cited growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals. According to the social media platform, sharing personal media such as images or videos can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.

The new private media update is expected to enable Twitter to take action on media that is shared without any explicit abusive content. This is provided the media is posted without the consent of the person depicted. This update is a part of their ongoing work to align our safety policies with human rights standards, and it will be enforced globally starting today.

Under the twitter private information policy, users cannot share the following types of private information or media, without the permission of the person who it belongs to.

  • Home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private.
  • Identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers.
  • Contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses.
    Financial account information, including bank account and credit card details.
  • Other private information, including biometric data or medical records.
  • Media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.

Other practices prohibited by Twitter include

  • Threatening to publicly expose someone’s private information.
  • Sharing information that would enable individuals to hack or gain access to someone’s private information without their consent, for example, sharing sign-in credentials for online banking services.
  • Asking for or offering a bounty or financial reward in exchange for posting someone’s private information.
  • Blackmail

When private information or media has been shared on Twitter, a first-person report or a report from an authorized representative will be required to determine the authenticity of the complaint. Twitter will then remove the image from the platform upon receiving credible complaints.

This policy is however not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest.