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Twitter admits bug exposed some Android users' protected tweets for years

A security flaw may have disabled the "Protect your Tweets" setting.

The Twitter application seen displayed on a Android
Some people using Twitter for Android may have been impacted by a security flaw.
Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Twitter glitch left some Android users' protected tweets exposed since 2014.

The security flaw disabled the "Protect your Tweets" option for some people who changed their settings, such as updating the email address associated with the protected account, between Nov. 3, 2014 and Jan. 14, 2019, the company wrote in its Help Center Thursday.

Those using the iOS version of the app or Twitter for web weren't impacted.

Twitter fixed the issue on Jan. 14, but isn't sure how many accounts were affected, so it's recommended that you double check your settings if you're an Android user and want your tweets protected. The company is contacting people it knows were affected and reactivated the protected tweets setting for them.

The social media site was already being investigated by Irish data protection authorities over the way it tracks people when they click links, and those officials are looking into this new data breach.

"The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has been notified of this data breach and we are currently assessing its contents," the DPC said in an emailed statement.

Companies whose privacy practises are found lacking face fines of 20 million euros or 4 percent of their annual global revenue from the year before, whichever is higher, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -- the EU law that gives citizens more control over their personal data.

Twitter declined to add further comment.

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