Change These Twitter Privacy Settings to Protect Your Personal Data

With a few tweaks, you can stop Twitter from sharing your information.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Twitter logo on a phone screen

Your Twitter account will tell advertisers what you search for, unless you change certain settings.

Angela Lang/CNET

It's official: Billionaire Elon Musk now owns and runs Twitter. Since the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has already floated ideas about potential changes, you may be moved to clean up your profile by deleting your old tweets or untagging yourself from past conversations. You may even consider quitting the social media service entirely. But before you delete (or archive) all your tweets, there are a few settings tweaks that could make you feel more secure. By changing your account privacy settings, you can control what information Twitter itself is allowed to share about you. 

Twitter isn't shy about sharing information with its business partners (read: advertisers) about you and your browsing habits. It passes on your data to help serve targeted ads on your feed, and it also collection information about you when you visit a site that has an embedded tweet or Twitter share button. 

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Elon Musk Buying Twitter

If you care more about keeping your data private than you do about seeing ads in your feed that target your online habits and whereabouts, it's easy to stop Twitter from sharing your information.

Twitter privacy settings

To stop Twitter from sharing your data with advertisers, tap your account picture in the top-left and tap Settings and Support to expand the list. Next, go to Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety and then scroll down and tap Ads preferences. At the top is a toggle switch to disable all personalization and data settings. You'll find this setting on both mobile Twitter and on the web.

Twitter privacy settings

One toggle switch can prevent Twitter from collecting and sharing information about you.

Matt Elliott/CNET

I turned them all off, but there are granular controls for ad personalization on Twitter itself and data Twitter can collect from your browsing history if you want to find a middle ground between keeping your data private and getting a more personalized Twitter experience.

If you head back to the privacy and safety page in Settings, you'll see a Location information setting if you are using Twitter on your phone where you can disable Precise location. Toggling this setting off prevents Twitter from using your phone's GPS to tailor the ads it serves you.

See what data Twitter has collected about you

Twitter also has an area where you can see the demographic, geographic and other ad-targeting data it has collected about you. Head back to the Ads preferences page in settings, scroll to the bottom and tap See your Twitter data. Here, you can view and edit Your Profile but the better information can be found on the Interests and ad data tab. You can view and edit the interests Twitter assumes about you and also request that a list of the advertisers with whom Twitter has shared your data be emailed to you.

You can also fine-tune your browser settings to improve your privacy in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge and Brave, but if you're worried about your online privacy, this is the browser to use.