“Twitter Hit With Class Action Lawsuit for Eavesdropping on Direct Messages”
To most Twitter users, URL link shorteners are a convenient way to stuff more into a 140-character message. But a proposed class action lawsuit filed on Monday alleges that the social media service is using them in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s privacy law.
The complaint brought in federal court in San Francisco from Wilford Raney and others similarly situated is claiming that despite Twitter’s assurances that users are allowed to “talk privately” among one another, “Twitter surreptitiously eavesdrops on its users’ private Direct Message communications. As soon as a user sends a Direct Message, Twitter intercepts, reads, and, at times, even alters the message.”
Mr. Edelson said that its internal forensic experts were able to piece together how and why Twitter replaced the hyperlinks with its own URL shortener. But it has yet to come across evidence that Twitter was actually able to charge higher advertising rates thanks to the traffic data gleaned from intercepting hyperlinks sent through direct messages. “That’s obviously going to be a focal point of the litigation,” he said, adding “we feel confident that we understand why they’re doing it.” Mr. Edelson said a lot of people have been contacting the firm with questions since the lawsuit was filed this week.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.