Tag Archives: Twitter

US: On District Attorneys and Twitter Data Requests

Mike Isaac writes about how District Attorneys overreach in Twitter data requests, on allthingsd.com.

♦ Take the Occupy movement, for example.

Arrests made in major protests like Occupy that are aided by Twitter use are exactly where district attorneys move in. Thus far, D.A.s in New York, Boston and San Francisco have brought subpoenas for Twitter user data in civil cases against Occupy protesters, asking for information such as private messages between users, tweets from “protected” accounts, all Twitter information from an extended period of time, and, in the case of the San Francisco D.A., even data from others in conversation with the targeted user.

♠ There are certainly perfectly good reasons for issuing subpoenas for users’ Twitter and social network information. Indeed, Twitter and Facebook see it that way as well. It is built into both companies’ terms of service; if there’s a “good faith belief” that sharing said data with lawmakers would help “detect, prevent and address fraud and other illegal activity…[or] prevent death or imminent bodily harm,” then it may be turned over to the authorities.

Read the whole analysis here: Gone Fishin’: District Attorneys overreach in Twitter Data Requests.

Twitter to Sell Two Years' Worth of Old Tweets. What's wrong with you?

epic.org writes that “Twitter recently announced a deal with the analytics firm Datasift that authorizes Datasift to sell the content of public tweets posted over the last two years.

Companies who buy the data from Datasift will be able to market to users based on the topic or location of the tweets. DataSift will be required to regularly remove tweets that users delete”.

Allowing this to happen shows that the principles enshrined in the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, are, for the moment, only pretty thoughts written down in a fancy manner.

Look, for instance, at principle number one: INDIVIDUAL CONTROL. It presupposes that “Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it”. Hence, if Twitter feels like making money out of the personal data posted by its users, at least it should ask for their consent.

Yes, you may say Twitter’s deal regards only public tweets. That has nothing to do with the user’s consent that some company would profit from his or her thoughts expressed there.

Maybe if they new their data are so valuable, they wouldn’t have made it public for free in the first place.