UK Commission Explains That Public Tweets Are Public

from the in-case-you-were-wondering dept

Apparently, a woman in the UK didn't seem to realize that her Twitter account was public. After finding out some of her Twitter messages were picked up and mentioned in some newspapers, she complained that this was a violation of her privacy rights. This resulted in a case before the Press Complaints Commission, who explained that information that you put out publicly is not private info. Thanks for clearing that up. Public info is public. Good to know.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Torinir (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:15pm

    Obvious ruling is obvious.

    Yeah, yeah... I had to say it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:20pm

    I don't know exactly why I'm laughing but that is just hilarious.

    Why people put information on public forums and expect privacy?

     

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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:31pm

    it's all relative

    Yes, it sounds funny when you understand that Twitter is a public forum. The thing to remember is that most of the people in the world are not aware that it is a public forum.

    People sit in their private homes and type words on their computers for their friends to read. The same way people not so long ago typed letters that they put into envelopes, stamped and dropped in a mailbox. Just because many people use computers is no guarantee they understand them.

     

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:40pm

      Re: it's all relative

      The thing to remember is that most of the people in the world are not aware that it is a public forum.

      The thing to remember is that everyone who joins Twitter has an obligation to know what it is. I mean, they even have an option to make their posts private. What more do you want? A Twitter employee to come to your home and explain it to you?

       

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        Michael, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 3:40am

        Re: Re: it's all relative

        "What more do you want? A Twitter employee to come to your home and explain it to you?"

        Is she cute?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: it's all relative

        That is like saying private messages on Facebook will forever remain private. They won't. Eventually facebook will have a breach internally or externally, and something with the expectation of privacy will be public.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 12:31am

      Re: it's all relative

      The thing to remember is that most of the people in the world are not aware that it is a public forum.

      citation needed

       

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:39pm

    They should have pasted their ruling onto a photo of a cat. She would have understood, then.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    About public did anyone knew that Einstein is a trademark and copyrighted?

    CNN: Granddaughter wants share of Einstein estate profits

    WTF!?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

    Heavy bricks are heavy.

    I always wonder if Tomoyo's Room is the source of this.

    http://manga.clone-army.org/t42r.php?page=207&lang=

     

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    mike allen (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 12:22am

    the problem was that a newspaper published her tweets for some reason she complained the word idiot springs to mind.

     

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    Christopher (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 12:39am

    Public tweets are public.... the information BEHIND the tweet (who posted it and when) is not usually public, so that is protected.

     

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      Wolfger (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 3:01am

      Re:

      That's absolutely wrong, Christopher. The tweet is public, your names (screen name and user name) are a part of every tweet. The time it was posted is fuzzy... you see "x minutes/hours/days ago" instead of a timestamp. Of course, if it says "4 minutes ago", you know exactly when.

      example, off a random hashtag search:
      screen name: sl33stak
      user name: Jamie A MacDonald
      @TechCrunch I prefer MY #Kickstarter project of #Detroit http://kck.st/e93ANp Well..If you're into #Photography anyways.
      7 minutes ago via Echofon

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 1:26am

    Twitter's TOS pretty clearly state you own your tweets.

    Journo should have asked for permission, or it's theft.

    Reproducing someone's tweets without consent is irresponsible.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 5:09am

      Re:

      yeahbut it is not quite that simple
      (from https://twitter.com/tos)
      You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

      You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.


      Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re:

        Sounds like there is no real right to or expectation of privacy on Twitter. I wonder how this makes that Icelandic politician and the EFF feel right now?

         

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        teka (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 5:20pm

        Re: Re:

        All those provisions seem to spell out that Twitter is the one with the license to display (use) any content you give them. There is nothing that says anyone without a connection or business relationship with twitter can freely use your content.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 2:25am

    Oh. My. God.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 5:28am

    Would that include private messages or @person messages sent on Twitter?

     

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    isaac the k, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Long Cat

    Long cat is pleased by this.

    Because long cat is loooooooooooooong.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    Twitter, Facebook, MySpace...human vanity and stupidity know no bounds.

     

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