Lauren Weinstein writes:
Soon, Twitter will be collecting data on which Twitter users click any links in any Twitter streams. They will also be able to collect IP address info for any user (even non-Twitter users) who click on any link in any Twitter message via the Twitter Web interface. Hmm.
“In the coming weeks, we will be expanding the roll-out of our link wrapping service ( http://t.co ), which wraps links in Tweets with a new, simplified link. Wrapped links are displayed in a way that is easier to read, with the actual domain and part of the URL showing, so that you know what you are clicking on. When you click on a wrapped link, your request will pass through the Twitter service to check if the destination site is known to contain malware, and we then will forward you on to the destination URL. All of that should happen in an instant … Twitter will log that click …” [emphasis added]
This is a significant amount of data. I’d like to know more about how Twitter plans to protect that data, what their data retention and release policies for that specific data will be (if different from their generic privacy policies) and if they will be escrowing the link mappings with a third party for protection (as does bit.ly, for example, with Internet Archive).
All good questions. I have e-mailed Twitter to ask them for their response to his concerns. If I get a reply, I will publish it.