Twitter Software Engineer: ‘You’re Basically Paying for the Right to Use Our Website with Your Data’

Jack Dorsey
The Associated Press

In the latest video from James O’Keefe’s investigative journalism team Project Veritas, Twitter employees have alleged that user data is sold to third-party companies for profit.

In the latest bombshell video from Project Veritas, Twitter employees have allegedly discussed the reading of users’ DM’s, the storing and viewing of users’ nude pictures and the collection and sale of user data to third-party companies. Twitter has had trouble monetizing their platform almost since the start of the company, but one Twitter software engineer, Mihai Florea, has revealed that one revenue stream allegedly explored by the company has been the sale of user data to advertisers. Florea stated that users are essentially paying to use Twitter with their own personal data which is then sold on to advertisers.

Florea stated in an undercover discussion with Project Veritas reporters:

To actually charge advertisers for money, we have to prove it was you, and that’s why using, like, the email address, or like, a cookie, something that can track you… That’s how we make most of our money… You’re basically paying for the right to use our website with your data basically, and it’s the same on every free website.

However, Florea did justify Twitter’s collection of user data by discussing two other Silicon Valley tech firms, Facebook and Google:

We know some stuff. We aren’t as creepy as Facebook or Google, but we know some stuff.

However, the “stuff” that Twitter knows about their users is essentially all of their private conversations and information, begging the question — what exactly do Google and Facebook know? According to another Project Veritas recording of Conrado Miranda, a former engineer at Google, users give Twitter information solely by visiting their website, which provides Twitter with data such as where that user is located in the world, what web browser they’re using, whether they’re on a mobile phone or computer, amongst other information.

Miranda stated:

You leak way more information than you think… If you go to Twitter for the first time, we have information about you. Because we actually bought a company because of this, like, ads network… We serve ads for other companies, in other people’s sites. So, when you go in and see that ad, we get information that you’re this person, seeing this ad, at this moment at this location on this website. So we already have a lot of information about you.

When a Project Veritas reporter asked the former Twitter engineer how users could protect their data from falling into the wrong hands, Miranda very simply stated:

You don’t… There is no way.

The breadth of data Twitter is storing on users in order to drive corporate profits may help make the case that regulation is in the cards for Silicon Valley tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

Watch the full video from Project Veritas below.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at