Twitter’s PayPal integration for Tip Jar could expose email IDs, addresses: Report
Twitter recently added a new feature that allows users to earn through tips sent by followers. The feature, however, is caught in an odd controversy after the integration of PayPal. Privacy researchers have raised concern stating users who get their tips through PayPal are at risk of their email addresses and physical addresses getting exposed, reports Protocol.
According to Rachel Tobac, one of the researchers to first voice concerns about the PayPal integration, it was Twitter's responsibility to inform users about the latest feature and privacy implications.
“Yes, this is a PayPal issue (leaks address w/ PayPal payments off of Twitter too). Twitter integrated PayPal into their tip feature so it's now Twitter's responsibility to inform users about how using PayPal w/ Twitter Tip Jar impacts privacy as many Twitter users aren't aware,” Tobac said in a series of tweets.
Thank you @Twitter @kayvz for paying attention, welcoming security researcher's feedback, and taking responsibility to take steps to warn and protect your users within an hour of me releasing these findings (even though you don't control PayPal's address leaking flow). https://t.co/jLjMcJmd15— Rachel Tobac (@RachelTobac) May 6, 2021
Twitter has taken cognizance of the loophole and has begun alerting users who send tips through PayPal.
"We can't control the revealing of the address on PayPal's side," Twitter's head of product explained, "but we will add a warning for people giving tips via PayPal so that they are aware of this."
Twitter, however, did not say that it would disable the PayPal integration. The Protocol report points out that Twitter's strict rules on content that violate people's personal information. Twitter's rules also say that users who violate these policies may see actions such as locking of accounts or deletion of violating posts. Those who repeatedly violate the policy may even be permanently suspended from the platform.
PayPal, in the meanwhile, pointed out that users have two options to send tips on Twitter. Users can either sign up for payments for “goods and services” in which their details are shared or choose to sign up for payments for “friends and family.”
"This is the standard functionality of the PayPal app and we will work with Twitter closely to ensure user awareness," a company spokesperson said.