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Twitter Admits Private Messages Could Have Been Public For Years

For more than four years, private tweets may have been made public due to a glitch.

The security issue meant private tweets sent on Twitter for Android between November 3, 2014 and January 14, 2019 could have been public without the knowledge of the user.

The social media giant said the issue was caused by users changing their email addresses, inadvertently switching off the 'Protect your Tweets' option.

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Twitter admitted it found the problem on January 14, but only notified users on Friday.

"We've become aware of an issue in Twitter for Android that disabled the 'Protect your Tweets' setting if certain account changes were made," it said in a statement.

"We've informed people we know were affected by this issue and have turned "Protect your Tweets" back on for them if it was disabled."

Twitter has apologised for the problem but encouraged users to check their privacy settings.

"We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day," it said.

"We’re very sorry this happened and we’re conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again."

Image: Getty Images

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People using iOS and web browsers for Twitter have not been affected by this issue.

Contact the author at jdunne@networkten.com.au