Twitter moves all non-US accounts to Ireland to avoid NSA

Twitter has written in its official blog post that it is going to revise its ToS (terms of services), Digits products, Periscope and privacy policy, effective at 18th of May, for all of those account which are not located in US or non-US accounts.

In the beginning of May 2015, Twitter aimed to have its consumer data protected through an Irish data and privacy protections law except the twitter account holders living in the America, as Irish law don’t apply to them – because of this they (the US folks) will carry on to be protected under the American data and privacy protections laws. It will happen in the upcoming month of May, said by Twitter.

Twitter says that 77% of its 288 million consumers are living outside the United States of America.

The motive for it apparently is to  get away from the court petition which derive from National Security Agency (NSA) and many other American authorities, regarding the user details. In Europe, Ireland is the only country which has the most relaxed privacy laws and according to the latest privacy laws, any data managed in Europe is not accessible by NSA without a clear permission of any Irish Court. Furthermore, the upcoming privacy legislation and cyber security bill in EU (European Union) that will make it a much more difficult for the American-based firms to share information about the European consumers with advertisers.

In March 2015, a report from Reuters stated that the European Union ministers had decided to enable any of the privacy controller to refer a case to a panel which is based on all 28 European Union regulators. A judgment that earned the ire of huge American tech firms, which favors individual countries to exclusively handle the privacy concerns.

Just before the meeting of European Union minsters in March, Thomas de Maizière (German Interior Minister) called out Ireland’s comparatively weaker privacy law, reported by Irish Examiner.

Thomas de Maizière said that, “What we need and reached is a system of a one-stop shops so that companies can be located in Ireland, but it is important we have a common decision for Europe. We don’t want the same disaster as we saw in the financial system some years ago.”

All the American based Twitter accounts will be handed by the Twitter’s headquarter located in San Francisco and Dublin in utilized to handle the data from users outside the America (Worldwide). Twitter publicized the upcoming changes in its privacy policy in a post:

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.

Obviously dodging the NSA (National Security Agency) or making marketing relaxed are not somewhat how Twitter clarifies the cause for the alteration:

As more people around the world use our services, we’ve expanded our operations to improve how we support our users globally.

But how the changes will work out in reality is actually a main concern, Twitter will have to response by its own. A brave move though, we must say! It’s good to see the social media giant taking this step for the sake of users’ privacy and data protection, we hope avoiding NSA PRISM turns out good for Twitter and also, gives a hint of action to others as well. Let’s see…

Top/Featured Image: By German Car Specialists / Flickr

Ali Raza Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a Master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology for SecurityGladiators. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.
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