"Cell phone numbers are better identifiers than email addresses."

#Privacy

Thu, Oct 23rd, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

Digits is a service by Twitter that allows developers to connect a user to their app not with a username and password, but by using their mobile number. The idea is similar to how WhatsApp operates, using SMS to validate a user's identity. Interestingly, while this platform is open for developers to use, and Twitter is footing the bill, the catch is that Twitter gets to keep the numbers. This may have at to do with the idea that native advertising will be taking an even bigger share of the advertising revenue currently being enjoyed by Google, tremendously benefiting "Twitter’s advertising business in mobile."

That seems generous of Twitter, but there’s a catch: Twitter gets to keep those phone numbers too, and store them on its servers.

It can then use them to enhance its mobile advertising network MoPub. Phone numbers give Twitter a better read on who app users are, to better target them with ads (assuming developers also install MoPub, which Twitter owns and offers them access to for free).

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