GDPR Laws Drive Twitter to Switch Non-EU Users Across the Pond to California


TwitterGDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) by the European Union(EU) came into effect last year and Twitter is now planning to move its non-EU and non-U.S user accounts from Ireland to California to allow for more flexible experimentation on them without running into GDPR laws. The non-EU and non-U.S accounts were previously contracted by Twitter International Company and will be in the hands of the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc.

According to Damien Kieran, Twitter’s data protection officer, this move will allow the company to run experiments with different privacy features without violating GDPR laws. their goal is to learn from those experiments and then to provide those same experiences to people all around the world.

Twitter also launched a new site, Twitter Privacy Centre, which is their effort to let users know about the company’s privacy efforts and give them more control over their data and what data advertisers might receive.

The new site will be Twitter’s hub for Twitter’s related initiatives, announcements, new privacy products, and communication for security incidents.

Twitter is avoiding GDPR but on its home turf, California has its own law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which will come into effect next year on Ist January and the new privacy changes will comply with them.

CCPA requires companies to be more transparent to their consumer and give users control over their data such as giving them the option of requesting for their data to be deleted. Users will also be able to opt-out of having their data sold to third parties.

These preferences would have likely to be restricted by GDPR.

Products will now go through reviews by Twitter’s Information Security, Product and Privacy Counsel teams and its independent Office of Data Protection ahead of launch.

Other tech companies have followed suit. Google informed its clients that it would let sites and apps using its advertising tools block personalized ads as part of its efforts to comply with the California law. Microsoft also announced it would enforce the CCPA law throughout the United States.

“It’s so common to hear tech companies say: ‘Privacy is not a privilege; it is a fundamental right’ that those words have become a cliche. People have become desensitized to hearing companies say, ‘we value your privacy,’ and are worn out from being asked to accept privacy policies that they rarely, if ever, even read. Many companies make these declarations without even showing people what actions they are taking to protect their privacy. And let’s be honest, we have room for improvement, too,” the blog post authored by both Kieran and Twitter Product Lead, Kayvon Beykpour reads.

[UPDATED] Change These Default Privacy Settings Right Now! From Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Amazon

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com