Twitter has sold billions of archived tweets believed to have
vanished forever. A privacy row has erupted as hundreds of companies
queue up to purchase users’ personal information from the new database.
time you use social networks you become mere product – it's an idea we
will all have to get used to. So, should we give up worldly goods and
hide in a Tibetan monastery till the end of our days, or start putting
up a fight to protect our privacy?
In the latest in a long series
of scandals over social networks that profit from our private data, the
UK-based DataSift firm has announced that is has bought every tweet
posted since January 2010. The business intelligence and data-mining
platform will be the first company to offer the archive for sale.
Historics is a cloud-computing social data platform that enables
businesses to extract insights and trends that relate to brands, news,
public opinion and … actually anything you could ever need… from
Twitter's public tweets.
Now entrepreneurs will have access to
billions of tweets, which literally means they will purchase every
Twitter user along with all his secrets, GPS-location included. Thought
the law protected you from thieves?
No, on the contrary – it
actually helps thieves to abuse you and steal your personal data.
DataSift now brings to the table what it calls “an invaluable
information source” with 250 billion tweets posted in 2010 alone.
Historics is available today as a limited release to existing customers
and is scheduled to be generally available in April 2012.
Do you agree your tweet is priceless?
idea that months- or years-old tweets are of no value is a false one.
DataSift says almost 1,000 companies have joined a waiting list to
access the service. No complicated surveys needed – the firms now have
the feedback at their fingertips.
Twitter turned out to be craftier than most users suspected.
thought that tweets you posted months ago had vanished, or were simply
hidden away so deeply and awkwardly on the Twitter website that they
would be too difficult to uncover? Think again,” Graham Cluley from
security firm Sophos says, as quoted by The Daily Mail web edition.
turns out that Twitter had archived every tweet and will now be
rewarded for its ingenuity. Datasift, for instance, will charge
companies up to £10,000 a month to analyze tweets posted each day for
anything said about their products and services.
Outrage over privacy
question is whether an estimated 300 million Twitter users should be
classified as victims whose personal data has been sacrificed on the
altar of global marketing. It has been reported that private accounts
and tweets that have been deleted will not be indexed by the site.
Nevertheless, privacy campaigners are alarmed.
The Daily Mail
website quotes Justin Basini of the data privacy company Allow as
saying: “Marketers will stop at nothing to get hold of your data. This
move shows all those throwaway tweets have suddenly become a rich new
revenue stream for Twitter… It has taken a stream of consciousness,
analyzed it, bottled it and sold it for a profit. And the worst thing
is, you never knew it was going to happen.”
DataSift claims it is
planning to tap into another goldmine of information – Facebook – in
just a few weeks. The latest data from comScore, an Internet marketing
research company, says the average Facebook user spends around 6-7 hours
a day using the social network. Now that the relatively laconic Twitter
has turned dangerous, just imagine how much riskier it is to post
something for six hours a day.
reasons, please all join our independent uncensored open networks at
identi.ca (alternative to Twitter) and Social Mathaba (alternative to Facebook).