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Outrage as Twitter announces the sale of user tweet data to advertisers

Twitter In Privacy Outrage

Twitter In Privacy Outrage

In ever continuing privacy invasions by corporations and governments, Twitter has announced it will be selling user tweets to advertisers / marketing companies.  A UK company Datasift has access to two years’ worth of Tweets. Companies will also be able to buy users’ history including any GPS information. More than 1,000 companies have joined a waiting list to use the data.

Datasift provide social media data-filtering and monitoring technology and information to help firms with marketing campaigns and target influential users.

The licensing deal is part of Twitter’s plan to generate revenue from its service, which is free to its estimated 300million users worldwide. Possibly, to try and satisfy their venture capitalist investors.

Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, said: ‘People may consider tweets to be personal property but this deal makes clear they are not. Our personal posts on social media are yet another way for advertisements to be better targeted and that’s a very lucrative industry. ‘It’s clear that if you’re not paying for a service, you are not the customer – you’re the product.’

But the move has alarmed privacy campaigners, with the online rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation describing it as ‘creepy’.

Datasift charges companies up to £10,000 a month to analyse tweets posted each day for anything said about their products and services. They have also stated that they have a waiting list of 100 of the Fortune 500 companies in the US. It will come as no surprise, if certain government agencies also buy this data for their own purposes.



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