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Privacy International pushes Twitter on personal data

Starts drive for user data dumps
Thu Feb 16 2012, 16:24

ONLINE PRIVACY ADVOCATE Privacy International is pushing Twitter users to ask it for a copy of all the information it holds about them and their account.

The group has created an easy to use how-to guide for requesting your data from the micro-messaging service that it said comes in response to reports about the firm's practices.

"Inspired by the Europe v. Facebook campaign and further motivated by revelations that individuals associated with WikiLeaks and the occupy movements in Boston and New York have had their Twitter data disclosed to American law enforcement authorities, Privacy International is launching a campaign to encourage European data subjects to get access to the personal information that Twitter holds on them," it said.

"Our campaign [aims] to help European citizens exercise their rights and to raise awareness about data retention policies. We hope that by raising awareness we can also gain clarity on what information Twitter collects and stores about its users, especially after the recent news that Twitter has been storing the full iPhone contact lists of users who choose to 'Find Friends'."

The group is referring to a report at the LA Times that says that Twitter keeps user data for as long as 18 months. Privacy International wants people to demand the data, analyse it, and let it know if they think Twitter is keeping anything that it should not.

"Is there other personal data that you know Twitter has that it didn't disclose?" it asked. "Let us know what you discover, especially if you find anything odd or anomalous."

We have asked Twitter to comment and confirm reports that it keeps users' data for 18 months. µ

 

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