[Busec] Fwd: [IP] Twitter Is Tracking You Online To Suggest Who To Follow

Crovella, Mark E crovella at bu.edu
Fri May 18 20:55:29 EDT 2012

No surprises, except for the frankness of the statement ....

pardon the typos, sent from my phone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Dave Farber <dave at farber.net<mailto:dave at farber.net>>
Date: May 18, 2012 8:18:18 PM EDT
To: ip <ip at listbox.com<mailto:ip at listbox.com>>
Subject: [IP] Twitter Is Tracking You Online To Suggest Who To Follow
Reply-To: <dave at farber.net<mailto:dave at farber.net>>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Dewayne Hendricks" <dewayne at warpspeed.com<mailto:dewayne at warpspeed.com>>
Date: May 18, 2012 7:24 PM
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] Twitter Is Tracking You Online To Suggest Who To Follow
To: "Multiple recipients of Dewayne-Net" <dewayne-net at warpspeed.com<mailto:dewayne-net at warpspeed.com>>

Twitter Is Tracking You Online To Suggest Who To Follow
By Bianca Bosker
May 18, 2012

In the interest of helping you figure out who to follow, Twitter is following you.

Twitter announced Thursday that it will use information it collects about users' browsing habits across all sites with Twitter "share" buttons to recommend accounts to follow.

By tracking individuals during their visits to websites in what the social media site calls the "Twitter ecosystem" (which includes any page with an embedded Twitter widget), Twitter can monitor what stories or topics each user visits most, and use that data to suggest accounts that match their interests. For example, someone who frequently reads HuffPostParents would likely see a recommendation for HuffPostParents columnist Lisa Belkin on Twitter.com<http://Twitter.com>.

"We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies -- including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube -- do when they’re integrated into websites," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last 10 days."

Twitter deletes or aggregates the data it collects after 10 days, and users have the option to opt out of having the their browsing tracked (for more on how to do that, see here or here). In the same blog post announcing its "experiment" with tailored suggestions, Twitter also declared its support for a Do Not Track option and said it would not collect data on users who had enabled the setting on their browsers.


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