Product & Startup Builder

On Twitter, Privacy, PRISM & Bandwagons

Added on by Chris Saad.

The whole Internet is on fire about PRISM right now. Apparently the NSA is wholesale tracking data from 9 major internet companies. Putting aside for a second if this is true or not, or what it really means, I want to address a related story about Twitter's NON-participation in this list.



The site Quartz is claiming that it's somehow a big show of strength that Twitter is not listed as a provider of data to the PRISM program. It goes on to explain that this will bolster their IPO as they potentially go on to become bigger than many other tech giants.

This seems to be a really popular post right now that's getting lots of retweets.

I'd like to rain on this parade. 

  1. Twitter's data is predominantly public. Many companies have the Firehose and/or use their public APIs. It's difficult for a company who provides public data to protect very much privacy.

  2. Twitter is not (or should not) be on track to rival any of the companies listed in the PRISM program. Don't get me wrong, it's a great, fun service with lots of disruptive implications - but it's not Google or even Facebook in terms of its utility. It missed the boat on that.

Let's just keep the irrational exuberance in check, shall we?