Twitter Updates Privacy Policy – No Means No

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Apparently, Twitter now understands that “no means no” when it comes to privacy settings.

Twitter recently unveiled updates to its services and policies, and, included on the list is a new commitment to supporting the Do Not Track browser setting, which stops the collection of information used for tailored suggestions.

While Twitter has taken this step, others haven’t. Users can make use of the setting as much as they want, but, unless the company harvesting the data chooses to honor the setting, the data mining continues.

But, Twitter is serious about privacy. Here is what they said in their official announcement:

“… (W)e’ve made a number of updates to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
Here are some of the main changes to our Privacy Policy, with links for more information:

“– We’ve provided more details about the information we collect and how we use it to deliver our services and to improve Twitter. One example: our new tailored suggestions feature, which is based on your recent visits to websites that integrate Twitter buttons or widgets, is an experiment that we’re beginning to roll out to some users in a number of countries. …

“– We’ve noted the many ways you can set your preferences to limit, modify or remove the information we collect. For example, we now support the Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting, which stops the collection of information used for tailored suggestions.

“– We’ve clarified the limited circumstances in which your information may be shared with others (for example, when you’ve given us permission to do so, or when the data itself is not private or personal). Importantly, our privacy policy is not intended to limit your rights to object to a third party’s request for your information.

“In our Terms of Service, we’ve clarified how your relationship with Twitter works and made a number of small changes and formatting improvements, such as new headings for easy reference and updated descriptions of our services.”

So, Twitter understands that “no means no,” and has put it in writing and told the world, more than 140 characters at a time.

The question becomes, how many other major and minor players will follow Twitter’s noble lead?

This also raises questions for those designing SEO strategies. Will the future be more difficult in a world where open access to everyone and everything may be going away? The answer to that is a firm “yes,” but with qualifications.

Isn’t it better to live in a world where privacy is respected and marketers and SEO designers just have to be more clever than a world where anything anyone does is trackable? Cop shows on television and cops in the movies may play for great dramatic effect when chasing the bad guys and mining various data fields to save the child or the world. But, in the real world, an Internet world with unprotected privacy leads to an unhappy place with unpleasant exposure to so many things it boggles the mind. The respect of privacy is always paramount.

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