Twitter revealed the “tip jar” feature this week, enabling users to contribute to a small number of users. But the social media giant neglected to mention the sender’s address is revealed to the recipient.
The new feature supports several payment options like CashApp, PayPal, and Venmo. It was rolled out to a select group of users. The price of using the tip jar feature comes at the expense of the sender’s personal privacy, however. When sending funds to another user, the platform reveals the sender’s residential 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,*” social media watchdog Rachel Tobac reported.
Tobac had sent New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali some money using the new feature, only to realize the platform disclosed her personal address in the transaction receipt.
“Be careful using PayPal Twitter Tip Jar — this is a hallmark of PayPal rather than Twitter of course but it impacts Twitter users who may not know that their address is leaked by PayPal to tip receivers,” Tobac said in a follow-up tweet.
Tobac argued that PayPal and Twitter needed to provide information about the program to address privacy concerns. The feature would mean that unsuspecting senders of cash would be handing over their home address, as well, to anyone they sent a few dollars. The privacy disaster poses dangers of stalking and harassment for anyone involved.
“PayPal needs to make it crystal clear which data is given to money receivers and stop sharing that data, & Twitter needs to educate users who don’t realize what info tip receivers get when using PayPal,” she said.
In an update on Thursday, Twitter acknowledged the issue, noting that it was “updating our tipping prompt and Help Center to make it clearer that other apps may share info between people sending/receiving tips, per their terms.”
Twitter also said that more information about the feature is “coming soon.”
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