Twitter is facing a lawsuit over allegedly eavesdropping on its users.

Twitter faces lawsuit over scanning users' DMs

September 30, 2015 3:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It looks like Twitter has dropped the eaves on this one.

Earlier this September, a lawsuit was filed against the social media giant, accusing the company of "systematically intercepting, reading and altering" to private messages sent by its users without their consent or even their knowledge.

Among the examples cited by the lawsuit is Twitter's policy of scanning direct messages and replacing any URLs within with custom hyperlinks. This is done to have Twitter listed as the traffic source for a given link, allowing the company to increase the rate it can charge for advertising.

The lawsuit is currently seeking class action status and is similar to a suit filed against Google for similarly scanning private mail sent via Gmail to improve its advertising deals.

How successful the lawsuit is depends on several factors. The biggest hurdle for it to overcome is differentiating the message scanning software from other forms of automated message changing. For instance, spell check can alter the text someone throws together, and nobody has sued a tech company for including that feature. Beyond that, for the plaintiffs to have a case, they'll need to prove that Twitter's policy has actually caused harm. 

The lawsuit was first filed by Texas resident Wilford Raney, and seeks to represent both Twitter users sending and receiving direct messages. It seeks damages has high as $100 per day for every user whose privacy could consider compromised by the alleged eavesdropping.

No matter where you are with your company, it's important to contact a skilled business attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help protect your rights in case of litigation, and get you just compensation.

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