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Twitter International Puts Ireland at the Centre of New Privacy Policy

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteChanges to Twitter’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which will take effect on May 18, put Ireland at the centre of the social media company’s international operations.

Twitter sent email to users today outlining the changes, and pointing them to a post on their support site which explains the change.

If you live outside the United States, our services are now provided to you by Twitter International Company, our company based in Dublin, Ireland. Twitter International Company will be responsible for handling your account information under Irish privacy and data protection law, which is based on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive.

If you live in the United States, the services will continue to be provided to you by Twitter, Inc., based in San Francisco, California, under United States law.

The move sees Twitter appearing to nail its colours to the European mast when it comes to data protection. As we heard this week at the Blacknight-sponsored Digital Rights Europe conference, Ireland is at the nexus where European Data Protection law meets US multinationals. Barrister Fergal Crehan addressed delegates on the topic of “Ireland as a Digital Privacy Powerhouse” and we’ll bring you an interview with him on that topic next week on Technology.ie.

On this issue, Twitter are not alone. Last November Google’s global SVP of Engineering told the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, that data protection is important as tax. And the Government has asserted its sovereign rights in the US courts with the filing of an amicus curiae brief in support of Microsoft, who refused to hand over data stored in Ireland to US authorities investigating a criminal case. Microsoft is arguing that the data must be requested using international treaties.

Earlier this year, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner announced a doubling of its workforce, and the opening of an office in Dublin city.

Other changes made by Twitter include a general clarification of its privacy policy, including clarifying that people can choose to use pseudonyms instead of their real names.

 

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