Users’ PayPal Accounts May Be Exposed Due to Twitter Tip Jar, Privacy Researchers Say
Users Need to Make Sure They Select “No address needed” When Tipping via PayPal.
Last week, Twitter has launched a “tip jar” feature to allow its users to send money to their favorite content creators on the platform but researchers are concerned regarding senders having their PayPal information such as physical and email addresses revealed.
The organization has launched this feature to “support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter”. Even if everybody can send tips, there are not lots of content creators who can benefit from it.
In a blog post, the organization has declared:
For now, a limited group of people around the world who use Twitter in English can add Tip Jar to their profile and accept tips.
This group includes creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits. Soon, more people will be able to add Tip Jar to their profile and we’ll expand to more languages.
A variety of payment methods such as Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal, and Venmo can be used at the moment by popular platform users who want to tip their favorite content creators. While the enterprise doesn’t financially benefit from these tips, the payment networks themselves may charge users a small transaction fee for tipping.
As privacy and security specialist Rachel Tobac wrote in a blog post, users should be careful and hide their personal information where possible. In the post, she showed that beneficiaries receiving money via PayPal could view the sender’s registered address.
Huge heads up on PayPal Twitter Tip Jar. If you send a person a tip using PayPal, when the receiver opens up the receipt from the tip you sent, they get your *address*. Just tested to confirm by tipping @yashar on Twitter w/ PayPal and he did in fact get my address I tipped him. https://t.co/R4NvaXRdlZ pic.twitter.com/r8UyJpNCxu
— Rachel Tobac (@RachelTobac) May 6, 2021
In other words, tipping is considered a transaction on Twitter. It’s like when a buyer is paying a seller when shopping online, PayPal may reveal the shipping address of the person who sent the money to the one who is receiving it.
Thankfully, solving the potential issue is not as difficult as some people might think as those utilizing PayPal to send tips via Twitter’s Tip Jar can select “No address needed” under the Shipping Address form before sending a payment on the social network.
Now you can do more to support the many amazing voices who add to the conversation on Twitter –– send them tips.
You can send someone a tip through several payment services by tapping the new Tip Jar icon on their profile, testing on Android and iOS. https://t.co/oSrfY2sJ8b
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 6, 2021
Meanwhile, Twitter has updated its tipping prompt and Help Center page on its website to explain that other apps including PayPal may share information between those sending and receiving tips.