A judge has ruled that Twitter must turn over information on three people thought to have information regarding Wikileaks. From the New York Times:
The judge said that because Twitter users “voluntarily” turned over the Internet protocol addresses when they signed up for an account, they relinquished an expectation of privacy.
I don’t think everyone knows that they are voluntarily giving Twitter their IP addresses. I mean, they should know, but I think it’s not really a conscious awareness.
Meanwhile, in other privacy news, it looks like the FTC is going to subject Facebook to 20 years of privacy audits due to its deceptive practices in the past. While this seems serious for Zuckerberg and co., the same thing happened to Google, and to Twitter in a different guise. The FTC and Facebook have to come to some sort of terms before Faceboook goes public, so that’s partly what’s motivating the upcoming settlement. From the Times again:
“This is part of the balancing act Facebook has to do,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “It also needs to settle the privacy complaints in the United States and Europe before its I.P.O.”
But Mr. Chester expressed doubts that the settlement would appease critics of Facebook’s data-collection practices.
“The real test of the F.T.C.’s Facebook deal will be whether a user actually has control over their own information, or will this be a tiny digital bump on the road that does nothing to derail Mark Zuckerberg’s voracious appetite to swallow up our data,” he said.
Users, privacy specialists and politicians have attacked Facebook for automatically signing people up for new features on the site, instead of asking them first.
For a year and a half, the F.T.C. has pushed Facebook to offer granular privacy controls so people can choose to share or make private specific information they post on the site, according to a person involved in the talks.