X, formerly Twitter, will have voice and video calling and an updated privacy policy: Elon Musk

Elon Musk said on Thursday that his social network X, formerly known as Twitter, will allow users to make voice and video calls on the platform.

Musk, who has previously announced upcoming features and policies that haven’t always panned out, didn’t say when the features would be available to users.

The company also updated its privacy policy, which will allow the collection of biometric data and work history, among other information.

Musk announced on Twitter that the site’s voice and video calls will work on Apple and Android devices and computers and “don’t require phone numbers.” Competing social platforms already offer voice and video calling. Meta, which owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, in 2015. introduced voice and video calling on Messenger. Snapchat added them in 2016.

X did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the new features or when they would be available.

The platform’s new privacy policy, which will take effect on September 29, tells users that “with your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security and identification purposes.” It does not specify what biometric information will be collected. Biometric data may include fingerprints, facial recognition, etc.

“This announcement is, at the very least, an acknowledgment that X will do what other social networks have already done in an even more stealthy way,” said Stephen Wicker, a Cornell University professor and data privacy expert. Two years ago, Facebook agreed to 650 million. US dollar settlement of a privacy lawsuit alleging the use of facial tagging and other biometric data without users’ permission.

“Ad X expands the farming of social media users’ personal data that can be used for targeted advertising,” Wicker said, adding that such data collection “continues to be a problem for those providing the data. a source of wealth to those who take it.” For users in the European Union, where sweeping Big Tech regulation called the Digital Services Act took effect last week, X has also added a new tool to report messages and ads that may violate the new rules. This feature is not available outside the EU where the rules do not apply.

In June, Twitter took part in a voluntary “stress test” to see if it was ready to meet the requirements of the DSA, including protecting children online and detecting and mitigating misinformation in both normal and emergency situations. At the time, European Commissioner Thierry Breton noted that “Twitter is firmly committed” to DSA, but added that “the work must continue.”

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Godfrey Kemp

"Bacon fanatic. Social media enthusiast. Music practitioner. Internet scholar. Incurable travel advocate. Wannabe web junkie. Coffeeaholic. Alcohol fanatic."