According to a bombshell report by, Elon Musk has access the user data of more than 70,000 websites belonging US government, healthcare companies and Fortune 500 companies that use Twitter to advertise. Adalytics.
Twitter’s advertising tool, called a “pixel”, allows data sharing. This enables advertisers to embed their pixel on their website to track and analyze users of the Musk-owned platform.
The pixel sends this data to Twitter. It includes the user’s IP address and payment information as well as activity on the website.
The report notes that Apple is the only advertising company that doesn’t use Twitter’s tool, along Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX who recently paid more than $160,000 to run a campaign.
Data sharing is possible via a tool called Twitter Pixel, which advertisers use to analyze their visitors’ behavior on their websites.
A total of ‘70,772 websites were found to make HTTPS requests to static.ads-twitter.com,’ Adalytics founder Krzysztof Franaszek wrote in the report.
These included many government, media, university, and brand websites.
Franaszek also pointed out that Twitter advertisers may not be aware of the fact that they are sharing terabytes (or more) of their visitors’ and audience data with Twitter.
It is likely that these advertisers have not enabled Restricted Data Usage, which allows them to limit Twitter’s use individual-level conversion events only for their business purposes.
Franaszek stated that there is a possibility that every website not using this RDU feature allows Twitter to co-mingle with and reuse the advertisers’ web traffic data in other ways.
Websites using pixel include:: The Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA; the US Department of Health & Human Services; Doctors Without Borders; webmd.com; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
However, the report also shows major carmakers advertising on Twitter, suggesting that Musk, who is also the owner of Tesla, can analyze traffic to those websites.
The New York Times According to three people, automakers were among the most worried advertisers. General Motors raised questions about whether Twitter data would be shared by Mr. Musk’s car firm, Tesla.
A new report shows that Twitter has full access to all this data, but many entities are not aware that the data is being shared.
A GM spokesperson stated that it was important to ensure that advertising strategies and data can safely be managed by a platform owned or controlled by a competitor.
Among academia, the websites of University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University and Purdue University embedded the Twitter Pixel but did not allow RDU.
Franaszek found that 99 percent of websites did not use the feature.
He wrote that ‘Currently, there doesn’t appear to be any legislation or laws in the US that would permit organizational entities to direct Twitter delete large amounts log data’.
“Policymakers in Congress may want to consider legislation that would regulate what happens if a data processor/data broker changes ownership as a result of a Merger/Acquisition event.”
Meta also offers a tool called a pixel to advertisers. Meta has been in court many times because of the same data-sharing as Adalytics.
John Doe, an anonymous hospital patient, filed a case against Facebook in the Northern District of California in June. He claimed that Facebook had obtained patient data from at minimum 664 hospital systems and medical providers.
According to the lawsuit, Facebook did not take any action to enforce or validate its requirement for medical providers to obtain consent from patients before sharing patient data to Facebook.
According to the lawsuit, Facebook monetizes the information it gets through the Facebook Pixel that is deployed on the websites of medical providers by using it for highly-profitable targeted advertising both on Facebook and off Facebook.
Meta was the target of a second lawsuit this month. It claimed that Meta’s pixel shared financial data with tax-filing sites.