Threads Spark Privacy Concerns: You can’t delete Threads App without deleting Instagram

Meta’s recently launched microblogging app, Threads, is stepping into the market as a direct competitor to Twitter. As per a listing on Apple’s App Store, Threads is a text-centric conversation platform, allowing users to keep their Instagram following lists and usernames intact.

Nonetheless, concerns are being raised about the data access and permissions that Threads, Twitter’s new competitor, requires.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO, voiced his doubts about the data requirements and permissions that Meta’s newly introduced app demands. 

Through a tweet containing a screenshot of the app’s data requirements listed on the App Store, Dorsey declared, “All your threads belong to us.” Twitter’s current CEO openly expressed his critique of Meta, sarcastically responding, “Thank goodness they are so impeccably managed,” to a Meta executive’s assertion about aiming to develop a “sanely run” social media platform through Threads.

In the European Union, privacy concerns have temporarily halted the release of Threads. This delay is likely due to two recent court rulings within the EU.

On July 4, the European Court of Justice ruled that Facebook, and by extension Meta, can no longer use the rationale of “legitimate interest” to justify using user data for advertising. This ruling effectively undermines Meta’s targeted advertising model. The court also decided that violations of data privacy by tech giants can be considered in antitrust investigations.

Following a privacy regulatory crackdown in May, Meta has been prohibited from transferring Facebook user data from the EU to the US and was fined €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion). This ruling could potentially signal the end of Facebook’s operations in the EU.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, Threads has not been explicitly blocked by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) of Ireland, the leading privacy regulator in the EU. However, Meta seems to be navigating through the process of launching within the bloc given its rigorous data protection regulations.

In a manner similar to Facebook and Messenger, once you’ve signed up for Threads, there’s no way to retract your commitment without also erasing your Instagram account. If you wish to keep your Instagram account, you can only deactivate your Threads profile. Before you go and signup, we recommend that you know the tips and tricks related to Threads.

Here are some issues the EU pointed out:

Threads procures information regarding your employment

Data related to your workplace, your role within your team, your employment history, and your performance evaluations may be collected and transferred to third parties.

Threads accumulates data about your physical health

Details about your health, fitness level, and physical activities could be collected and dispatched to third parties.

Threads gathers data on your internet usage

Threads might scrutinize your browsing history, interactions on web pages (including with advertisements), and the referral source or page that led you to Threads’ links. This information could also be passed on to third parties.

Threads collects data concerning your location

Photographs, videos, or other recordings of a user’s surroundings, in addition to “IP-address-based location information,” may be gathered and relayed to third parties.

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