Study shows Threads is the worst social media platform for protecting user privacy

In today’s digitally interconnected world, concern over user privacy has become an increasingly pressing issue, particularly when it comes to social media networks. Whilst it is widely acknowledged that most of these platforms struggle to safeguard user privacy adequately, a closer examination of their practices and policies reveals a complex landscape of varying degrees of protection.

Key findings

  • Threads collects 50% more personal data than Twitter.
  • Threads and Instagram are the worst social media platforms for protecting user privacy.
  • Flickr is the safest social media platform for personal privacy.
  • 68% of social media apps track their users’ data for advertising and marketing

Amongst the platforms studied, Threads and Instagram stand out as the worst offenders in safeguarding user data.

The top 15 worst social media apps for user privacy

The most alarming discovery is within Meta's ecosystem, encompassing Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and Messenger, which emerges as the most voracious collector of user data, tracking a staggering 86% of personal information.

Particularly noteworthy is Threads, which amasses 50% more personal data than even Twitter, highlighting the urgent need for greater transparency and protection of user privacy across the digital landscape.

The top 10 safest social media apps for user privacy

Methodology

The study, carried out by security company Home Security Heroes, assessed how social media apps protect their user privacy based on the following:

  • Data collection - How apps collect data
  • User control - How apps let users control their data
  • Security - How secure is the app
  • User experience - How easy is it for users to set their privacy settings

Article written by Olivia Taylor, lead researcher at digital agency Storible.com

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