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)

  1.  
    icon
    Torinir (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:15pm

    Obvious ruling is obvious.

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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:19pm

    Re:

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

    The same way someone was bound to bring that law suit. They just didn't do it for the lulz.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    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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  4.  
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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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  5.  
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    Atkray (profile), Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:33pm

    Re:

    She had to enter a password to login, therefore it must be private.


    /sarc

     

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  6.  
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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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  7.  
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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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  8.  
    identicon
    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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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re:

    You just made the wheel on Mike's wagon fall off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    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=

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    TamArgument, Feb 10th, 2011 @ 10:56pm

    Re:

    But without virtually indefinite IP laws we wouldn't have geniuses like Einstein.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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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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  13.  
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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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 1:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    wagons have wheels? why does nobody Tell me these things?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 2:25am

    Oh. My. God.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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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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  19.  
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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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  20.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    does your wagon just have four freely rotating squares on it? i hope they're all the same size!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 3:47am

    Re: Re: Re: it's all relative

    not particularly, she's the ugly twin sister of Brunhilda from Mel Brooks 'Robin Hood, Men in Tights'.

     

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  22.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 3:49am

    Re:

    No. Way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    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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  24.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re:

    Way!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 5:28am

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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    ethorad (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only because the buggy wheel manufacturers learned from the buggy whip manufacturer's mistakes, and now continually supress anti-gravity technology.

    Ever wondered why it's always 20 years away?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    TamArgument, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "does your wagon just have four freely rotating squares on it?"

    That would make his wagon a freetard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    it has to have squared wheeled, round wheels are patented

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Joe (profile), Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: it's all relative

    I'll see your "citation needed" and raise you a "citation needed."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    isaac the k, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Long Cat

    Long cat is pleased by this.

    Because long cat is loooooooooooooong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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