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Elon Musk’s X to collect ‘biometric information,’ job history


Elon Musk’s X revealed it will begin to collect users’ “biometric information” as part of a new security feature for users willing to fork over $8 per month for the site’s premium subscription plan.

The site formerly known as Twitter sent users push notifications on Wednesday nudging them to check out the updated policy – which takes effect on Sept. 29 and includes new disclosures about its plan to collect job history and other personal data.

“Based on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security and identification purposes,” the privacy policy reads.

X’s policy also notes that the company “may collect and use your personal information (such as your employment history, educational history, employment preferences, skills and abilities, job search activity and engagement, and so on) to recommend potential jobs for you, to share with potential employers when you apply for a job, to enable employers to find potential candidates, and to show you more relevant advertising.”

The old version of X’s privacy policy did not include a mention of biometric data or job history.

When reached for comment, an X spokesperson said the reference to biometric information is related to a feature intended for “premium users.”


Elon Musk has pledged to eliminate bots on X’s platform.
REUTERS

At present, X only provides “verified” blue checkmarks to premium subscribers. Musk faced criticism earlier this year for revoking existing verification status from unpaid users.

“X will give the option to provide their Government ID, combined with a selfie, to add a verification layer,” the X spokesperson said in a statement. “Biometric data may be extracted from both the Gov ID and the selfie image for matching purposes. This will additionally help us tie, for those that choose, an account to a real person by processing their Government issued ID. This will also help X fight impersonation attempts and make the platform more secure.”

Musk has pledged to eliminate bots from his social media platform ever since he acquired Twitter for $44 billion last year. However, the billionaire has also been sharply critical of the privacy practices of his rival Meta – and took a dig at Threads’ data collection disclosures when the rival app launched in July.


Biometric
X hasn’t revealed what it means by biometric information.
Getty Images

In a separate announcement on Thursday, Musk said X also plans to begin offering video and audio calls for its users with “no phone number needed.”

Biometric information has used to describe data tied to users’ fingerprints, eye scans and faces at other companies.

Apple offers a feature called “Face ID” on its devices that allows users to unlock their phones via facial recognition, while some apps let users log-in with a fingerprint scan.


Elon Musk
X recently unveiled changes to its privacy policy.
AFP via Getty Images

Worldcoin, the bizarre eyeball-scanning cryptocurrency token co-founded by OpenAI boss Sam Altman, requires users to upload an image of their iris using a device called an “Orb,” described as a “biometric verification device,” in exchange World ID” that is unique to each user.

The practice has drawn scrutiny from critics over data privacy concerns – including fears that the project was fueling a black market for biometric information.





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