Twitter has confirmed that it will remove third-party data options from its ad targeting process, following Facebook's lead in distancing itself from outside data sets, and the methods in which such may have been collected.
As explained by The Wall Street Journal:
"[Twitter] currently offers data from outside firms to help advertisers target users on its platform, but early next year the company will end that integration and require advertisers to buy data on their own. Twitter will also have to approve the data sources that marketers choose."
Twitter currently partners with a range of data providers, which can help advertisers create more effective audiences by offering additional insight into certain trends and behaviors. But that also puts the creation and sourcing of those insights out of Twitter's hands, which, as cases like the Cambridge Analytica case have shown, can be problematic.
Facebook announced that it was cutting its third-party data program last year - after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook made the decision that it didn't want to be held accountable for potential misuses, and removed itself from the equation.
According to Twitter, most advertisers on the platform already use their own data to buy ads instead of purchasing the third-party insights available through its system, so the impact, in that sense, should be minimal. But it will put more onus on advertisers to ensure that their data is being sourced in a legitimate, legal way - while reducing the same for Twitter.
In an unrelated case, Twitter this week announced that it had mistakenly shared some user data to outside parties without permission since last year. The issue has now been rectified.
And while Twitter had already made its decision to shift away from third-party data sources before this discovery, the incident highlights the increasing spotlight on data security, and ensuring that people's personal information is kept safe.
In this respect, Twitter's move makes perfect sense, though it will add another consideration in your ad targeting process.