Twitter Buys Smyte, Integrates Security Tools

Keeping its eye on user privacy and spam reduction, Twitter just agreed to buy Smyte -- a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in safety, spam, and security issues. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Per the deal, Twitter plans to integrate Smyte’s content review tools and processes into its flagship platform.

Smyte’s cofounders Josh Yudaken, Julian Tempelsman and Pete Hunt, are well connected in the tech world. Tempelsman was previously part of Google’s security team, while Yudaken and Hunt held similar positions at Facebook.

The acquisition comes as tech giants face increasing scrutiny over their handling of consumer data and privacy.

In Europe, a far-reaching General Data Protection Regulation recently went into effect, while the Trump administration is reportedly now weighing a federal approach to domestic digital data privacy.

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Although not as damaging as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica mess, Twitter has recently experienced its own security missteps. The company identified a bug that stored passwords unmasked in an internal log. In response, Twitter strongly suggested that its entire user base change their personal passwords.

Twitter executives later claimed to have fixed the glitch and said that an internal investigation showed no indication of breach or misuse by any bad actors.

The social giant also recently updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to make them easier for folks understand, while reflecting ongoing changes to its platform.  

Additionally, new personalization and data settings were added in order to give users more control over how Twitter can exploit their data, personalize their interfaces, and whether information may be shared with brand partners.

Twitter also recently announced plans to participate in the Swiss-US Privacy Shield and adhering to the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.

Founded in 2014, Smyte investors include Baseline Ventures, Founder Collective, and Upside Partnership.

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