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01/16/2018 / By Ethan Huff
If it exists online and it’s “free,” chances are whoever owns it is collecting data points on how you use it and selling this information to third parties for profit. That’s the case with the social media platform Twitter, anyway, which Project Veritas recently exposed as a data-mining Trojan Horse that collects, analyzes, and exploits everything that its users say, do, or send via the platform.
This includes private messages, nude photos, and anything else that Twitter users decide to post or send using the service. This is how Twitter “make[s] most of [its] money,” according to Mihai Florea, a software engineer at Twitter who was recorded undercover by Project Veritas spilling the beans about Twitter’s business model. Basically, if you don’t want the entire world to potentially find out what you’re doing on Twitter, then don’t use it – and this goes for any other “free “service online as well.
“You’re basically paying for the right to use our website with your data basically, and it’s the same on every free website,” Florea added.
Twitter Direct Messaging Engineer, Panay Singh, provided even raunchier details about Twitter’s hidden and nefarious hand of spying and exploitation. He told an undercover Project Veritas agent that everything users do on the platform is permanently stored on Twitter’s servers, never to be deleted.
“Everything you send is stored on my server. You can’t [delete it], it’s already on my server now,” Singh admitted. “So all your sex messages … are on my server now. All your illegitimate wives, and, like, all the girls you’ve been [expletive] around with, they are on my server now,” he added, joking that, “I’m going to send it to your wife, she’s gonna use it in your divorce.”
In other words, nothing about Twitter or any other “free” online service is in any way private – including allegedly “private” messages. Not only that, but the people who work for these companies seem to get a kick out of having access to people’s private information, as indicated by the callous responses of people like Singh, who in his “valley girl” vernacular appears unfazed by the Big Brother implications of the setup.
“So what happens is, like, when you write stuff or when you post pictures online, they never go away,” Singh stated. “Like, they’re always on there … Even after you send them, people are, like, analyzing them, to see what you’re interested in, to see what you’re talking about, and they sell that data … Everything. Anything you post online.”
Even before a person joins services like Twitter, his or her private data as it was previously collected by other websites and web services is made available. Former Twitter engineer Conrado Mirando can be heard explaining to Project Veritas’ secret undercover agents that Twitter “already has a lot of information” about its users that comes from other sources, and that “there is no way” to protect people from this information falling into the wrong hands.
Further, Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer, Clay Haynes, admitted to the hidden cameras that he, too, has access to seemingly private information on Twitter, including users’ Direct Messages (DM) transcripts that many of them think are private.
It is creepy Big Brother,” Haynes stated. “I mean it’s like a level … I don’t want to say it freaks me out, but it disturbs me.”
Stay informed on privacy issues by reading PrivacyWatch.news.
Sources for this article include:
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