Twitter warns developers making surveillance toolsBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 23 November 2016 | Categories: news
Twitter has sent out a not-so friendly warning to its developers via a blog post recently, explaining how its social media platform is designed to share information publicly and freely without fears. To that end, Twitter has stated that its data is not intended for use by government agencies to track civilians, something which was brought to the company's attention.
"To be clear: We prohibit developers using the Public APIs and Gnip data products from allowing law enforcement — or any other entity — to use Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period. The fact that our Public APIs and Gnip data products provide information that people choose to share publicly does not change our policies in this area. And if developers violate our policies, we will take appropriate action, which can include suspension and termination of access to Twitter’s Public APIs and data products," wrote Chris Moody of Twitter's Data and Enterprise Solutions division.
Instead, Twitter seeks to utilise its platform for service delivery, such as using data from tweets to send out emergency services when needed. As Engadget points out, government agencies can still make formal requests to Twitter when investigating what they believe to be a potential threat, but the company is at least aware of user concerns surrounding privacy and is trying to make it harder for government agencies to extract sensitive data at will.
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