Apparently Twitter Will Be Allowed To Mislead Consumers In 20 Years (But Not Before)

from the odd-terms dept

Twitter recently settled a complaint from the FTC concerning some of its security practices. That story, by itself, isn't all that interesting: basically Twitter had some problems when it was growing, the FTC slapped them down, and the company is now promising to be more careful , going forward. Nothing too out of the ordinary. However, ChurchHatesTucker points out one odd aspect to the settlement:
"Under the terms of the settlement, Twitter will be barred for 20 years from misleading consumers about the extent to which it protects the security, privacy, and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information, including the measures it takes to prevent unauthorized access to nonpublic information and honor the privacy choices made by consumers."
From that quote, it certainly sounds like Twitter will actually be allowed to mislead consumers about the extent to which it protects the security, privacy and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information after those 20 years are up. I mean, why even put such a term on something like this?

In the meantime, it seems worth pointing out the contrast here, where the FTC (part of the Obama administration) is slapping down Twitter for revealing nonpublic consumer information... at the very same time that the very same administration has demanded all sorts of nonpublic consumer information about Twitter users. Mixed messages much?

Filed Under: mislead, settlements
Companies: ftc, twitter


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2011 @ 9:22am

    It is not at all uncommon for plainly silly provisions to appear in negotiated documents. One attorney wants to show its client "I fought for you", and the other attorney agrees only because the provision is a throw-away and meaningless.

    Such is life....

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