Twitter may reveal personal info of UK users if "legally required" to do so

Think that your personal info on Twitter is safe? Not so much if a new report is to be believed. The UK-based Daily Telegraph web site reports that the social networking network web site could reveal info from its UK users. The news comes after Ryan Giggs, a professional soccer player, filed a lawsuit against Twitter and many of its unnamed users last week. The lawsuit comes after over 70,000 Twitter users "revealed that he had obtained an injunction to hide an extra-marital affair."

Tony Wang, who is the head of Twitter’s European office, is quoted in the article as saying, "If we're legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction." Obviously that quote opens up the possibility that all that personal info from Twitter users could be revealed just because a Twitter subscriber re-tweets what they have heard from another Twitter user. This new stance by Twitter could also allow other celebs from filing their own lawsuits against Twitter users.

However it will still be impossible to track down people who set up anonymous Twitter accounts and update them in places like Internet cafes. The article quotes media lawyer Mark Stephens as saying, "There is nothing they [the authorities] can do about that, they will have no idea who they are. It is like stopping rain, as long as there is anonymity they will be protected."

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7 Comments

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I think youll find to be precise that its not all UK users as the gagging order does not apply to Scotland

rob.derosa said,
Well they aren't legally required since they are a US company, so there is nothing to fret about surely.

Incorrect, as their decision surely shows you. It is amazing how many people think a worldwide company is only subject to the law where their head office is.

They obviously had several days of legal advice before coming to this conclusion.