Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

X wants you to trust it with your biometric data, and I bet you’ll give it to them

Published Aug 31st, 2023 5:10PM EDT
X hiring feature beta
Image: X

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Do you care about privacy? Really? I’m not too sure. While anyone would say that they care about their privacy, especially when it comes to their biometric data, it’s easy to see people quickly give that data away to other companies for convenience. It’s like anyone who says that they care deeply about audio quality and then use Apple’s AirPods (or any other earbuds) when listening to music. Convenience trumps a lot of things for people.

While we’re used to companies like Apple and Google using our biometric data for features like Face ID or unlocking our phones with our fingerprint, it might feel weird to give it to others. As reported by Bloomberg, one company that is now looking for you to trust it with that data is X (formerly known as Twitter). According to the report, the company has updated its privacy policy to now include mention of collecting biometric data.

“Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes,” the company said in its new policy. X doesn’t define what it considers biometric, though other companies have used the term to describe data gleaned from a person’s face, eyes and fingerprints.

It’s likely that X is updating this policy to support security features like Passkey, which will allow users to log into accounts without the need for a password. Researcher Steve Moser recently wrote that the company plans to add support for the authentication technology, which will eventually (hopefully) allow us to live in a passwordless future. However, with a feature like Passkey, your biometric data is kept on your device, so it’s unclear why X would actually need access to it directly.

In addition to biometric data, the updated privacy policy also makes mention of storing your education and work history. This one is less surprising, as X recently launched its new Hiring feature in beta. The feature allows verified organizations on the platform to feature job postings on their profile page, similar to how companies on LinkedIn can display openings.

It seems obvious that the company, in addition to featuring job posts, is looking to enable users to add this information to their personal profile so it can eventually build features to match potential employees to companies looking for new talent.

X says that the new privacy policy goes into effect on September 29th, so it makes me wonder if the company plans to expand its Hiring features, as well as add support for Passkeys, at that time. I doubt it would all happen immediately, as both of those features are technically complex to build out, but it could be a glimpse of what might be coming on the platform over the next couple of months.

While I’m still unsure as to why X itself might need your biometric data rather than keeping it on your devices, I bet that a lot of people would provide it. Convenience trumps a lot, and privacy is one of them for many. Amazon is a study in that. The company is rolling out its handprint scanners across Whole Foods in the United States, and people are just giving that data away for an easier checkout experience.

Sure, the companies will all claim that the information is secure and not shared in any way, but should we really take that chance?

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.