May 21, 2012

Twitter, Google and Privacy

The internet and social networking sites are developing rapidly however does this mean that our privacy is being compromised?


Twitter announced last week that it now has 10 million users in the UK. Twitter launched its UK presence on 1 June 2011 and it can be said that it has been a rather eventful first year with it making headlines during the Ryan Giggs privacy injuction episode and the London riots.

Most of the personal information accessible on social networking sites including Twitter is voluntarily posted by users about themselves, it is therefore argued that the use of that information does not constitute a violation of  privacy in the conventional sense. Specific privacy and data protection issues do arise however when users post personal information about third parties on their own and other users’ profiles.

The social networking site has faced tough questions over privacy and regulation but now seems keen to work with the government, ministries and members of parliament in respect of its public policy  which will no doubt include privacy.


Google has come under the spotlight after the search giant consolidated 60 privacy policies into one single agreement back in March. France’s “Commission Nationale de l’Informatique” (CNIL) is examining Google’s new policy and its implications on behalf of data protection regulators of the European Union.

Under the new policy, Google is able to pool the data collected on users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+. This data is used for various reasons, including powering the network’s targeted advertising system.

The review of Google’s privacy policy and its implications could lead to financial penalties or administrative sanctions if it is found to not comply with EU laws. The CNIL can impose fines of up to 300,000 Euros.

If you require advice on your privacy policy or any issues covered in this blog please contact:

John North, Head of Corporate and Commercial on

020 7583 2222                                                           [email protected] 

Sonia Mohammed

020 7583 2222                                                        [email protected]

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