Sunday, April 3, 2011

Federal judge in Twitter/Wikileaks case rules that consumers read privacy policies

From slight paranoia:
Earlier this afternoon, a federal magistrate judge issued an order in the much-hyped Twitter/Wikileaks case. While I will leave it to others in the media to analyze the order and its impact, I do want to focus on one specific issue.

The three individuals who objected to having their Twitter account records obtained by the government (referred to in the order as the petitioners) raised an interesting 4th amendment claim regarding their IP address information. Building on recent developments in the area of location privacy (where the 3rd circuit ruled that consumers do not knowingly transmit their location information to phone companies, because they generally don't understand the technical details of how phones work), the individuals here claimed that they didn't realize that they were conveying their IP addresses to Twitter, and thus maintained a privacy interest in this information.

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