Twitter sued for 'intercepting, reading, altering' direct messages

A lawsuit claims that Twitter "surreptitiously eavesdrops on its users’ private Direct Message communications."
The lawsuit filed by law firm Edelson PC and brought by Wilford Raney, a resident of Texas, in a San Francisco federal court seeks a class action status and wants $100 a day for each user whose privacy was violated.

According to the complaint, "As soon as a user sends a Direct Message, Twitter intercepts, reads, and, at times, even alters the message. For example, should a user write a Direct Message and include a hyperlink (ie, a link to a website such as, Twitter's algorithms will read through the Direct Message, identify the hyperlink, and replace it with its own custom link, thereby sending the person clicking on the link to Twitter's analytics servers before passing them on to the original linked-to website."
This the complaint alleges helps Twitter increase its perceived value to third-party websites and potential advertisers.
This interference, according to the lawsuit, is a violation of the US' Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California's privacy law.
Twitter though believes that "these claims are meritless" and the company intends "to fight them."
"When you have a privacy policy and the company is not being clear or transparent about what they're doing, the reason is usually because economic gain is really their focus," Jay Edelson, managing partner at the Edelson PC said to WSJ.



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