Elon Musk has revealed that his social network X, formerly known as Twitter, will soon be introducing voice and video call capabilities for its users.
Known for his ambitious proclamations that have not always materialised, the billionaire did not clarify when these features will be rolled out.
The company has also updated its privacy policies to include the collection of biometric data and employment history, among other information. This move suggests that X is aiming to broaden its data collection practices.
Users will be told from September 29 depending “on your consent, we may collect and use your biometric information for safety, security, and identification purposes”.
Biometric data encompasses characteristics like fingerprints and facial recognition but there is currently no specification about the types of data to be gathered by X.
Any inquiries regarding these updates have yet to receive a response from the company.
Commenting on the move, Stephen Wicker, a professor at Cornell University in Britain and expert on data privacy, said: “The announcement is at least an acknowledgement that X will be doing what other social networks have already been doing in a more covert fashion.”
Two years ago, Facebook consented to a settlement of $650 million in a privacy lawsuit, which alleged the unauthorised utilisation of photo face-tagging and other biometric data from its users.
According to Musk’s announcement, the voice and video call functionality on X will be compatible with Apple and Android devices, as well as computers, without requiring users to provide phone numbers.
Rival social platforms already offer voice and video call features. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, introduced these capabilities on Messenger in 2015.