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Twitter to warn users before handing over personal data to injunction investigation

Jenny Williams

Twitter says it will contact users before any personal information is provided to UK authorities as part of privacy injunction breach investigations.

The social networking site's statement follows legal action launched against Twitter after users flouted a UK super-injunction granted to a Premier League footballer. Thousands of Twitter users named the footballer in connection with an alleged affair with Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.

According to the Financial Times, Tony Wang, head of Twitter operations in Europe, said at an internet forum in Paris that the social networking site had the right to protect its users' rights to defend themselves.

In a statement, Alexander Macgillivray, Twitter's general counsel, added: "Our policy is to notify users and we have fought to ensure user rights. Sadly, some are more interested in headlines than accuracy."

Twitter's official policy reads: "Twitter's policy is to notify users of requests for their information prior to disclosure unless we are prohibited from doing so by statute or court order."

Twitter recently revealed plans to open a London office. Some lawyers suggested this might bind Twitter more closely to the UK's strict libel laws, instead of abiding purely by US law, which doesn't require web companies to accept liability for what users post.

Twitter acquired third-party application Tweetdeck this week in a deal rumoured to be worth around $40m (£25m).

The social networking site said in a blog post: "This acquisition is an important step forward for us. TweetDeck provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about."


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