Twitter boss insists user privacy is still priority
By Dave Stevenson
Posted on 24 Sep 2012 at 13:04
The CEO of Twitter “strongly believe[s]” in the importance of its users' privacy, despite a recent case in which the site handed over a user's tweets to authorities.
Speaking at the annual Online News Association conference in San Francisco, Dick Costolo emphasised that Twitter should protect its users from legal challenges.
"We strongly believe it's important for us to defend our users' right to protest the forced publication of their private information," he said.
He said the 140-million strong service was put “between a rock and a hard place” in the case of Malcolm Harris, an Occupy New York protester whose tweets were turned over to authorities during an investigation of his allegedly disorderly conduct during a demonstration in October 2011. Twitter had argued that its users retain their rights to their tweets, but last week was forced to hand over those of Harris, albeit sealed.
Costolo also used the conference to defend Twitter’s controversial API changes, which include limiting support for new apps using its API to 100,000 users. The changes were dismissed as having "zero credibility" by Instapaper creator Marco Arment.
Costolo said Twitter was investing money on reducing fake accounts and improving "the Twitter experience", but that third-party apps gave users a choice of Twitter interfaces without adding "accretive value".
"I don’t mean to be flippant, but there’s a little bit of 'I didn’t get my homework done because Twitter changed their API,'" said Costolo.
Costolo also announced upcoming improvements to Twitter, including the ability for users to download their entire Twitter history, and interactive Tweet boxes that host additional content such as real-time sports results. "We want to migrate to a world in which the 140 characters can serve as a caption for additional functionality," he said.
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office