got privacy?  Musings on the state of Privacy in a connected world.
Twitter has recently rolled-out a new feature - the ability to create sub-groupings of people that you follow, and share them with other users.  This has a number of useful benefits, including the ability to be able to group people into certain subject areas (for example, you might have a list of people that you work with, and another one for friends outside work).

Let's start with the good privacy feature that has been build into the current version of lists - the ability to mark lists private or public.  This is a sensible idea and has been implemented in a way that is easy to use (although we would prefer it if the default was for lists to be private rather than public - but this does seem a little like splitting hairs!)

Unfortuntely - the way that the lists have been set up currently are open to a number of forms of abuse.  The primary reason for this is because a user does not have to authorize being added to a list.  i expect that this is a useful (and necessary) feature for the top-ranked users, who could be added to hundreds or thousands of lists and would not want to have to accept every single request to add them.

On the other hand - this does mean that people can add you to lists without your permissions - and some of the following could occur:

1.  You are added to a list that gives away some information which you didn't want shared (e.g. parents of XYZ Middle School) - this could be significant information leakage, dependent on which lists you are added to.
2.  You are added to a list that isn't relevant to you (not so bad)
3.  You are added to a list maliciously or acciedentally that is damaging to your reputation (e.g. Registered Sex Offenders)

There needs to be a trade-off here.  On one hand, we could subject everyone to "list spam" and render the feature next to useless.  On the other hand, there could / should be some better tools to manage what lists you are on, and to remove yourself.

Although lists "follow" you in the same way as people do - you can't seem to block the list, just the person who created the list.

It's a brave new world out there.  Would be interested to hear others experiences and thoughts on this.
9/30/2012 04:00:06 pm

Useful information shared..I am very happy to read this article..Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.

6/27/2013 08:19:26 pm

Privacy implications of twitter are considerably good because it is providing more security offers to user, user defined privacy setting are found in all social networking sites and the companies are further working on more improved security settings frequently and that is helping in the success of these social sites. Good job guys!

7/5/2013 10:06:48 pm

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1/6/2014 10:38:16 pm

This article is relatively accurate however I'd like to add that Twitter is designed for exposure.

People using Twitter, whether personal or business, for the most part, want to gain followers and have people see their content.

Users have the option to "lock" their accounts and only approved followers can view (may not have been a feature at the writing of this article, but I was not on Twitter yet then)

Lists allow you to create a "custom timeline", as the number of people you follow increases.

Once you get over a certain amount you are following, some of your favorite accounts become needles in a haystack. However, a custom list of 50 people called "The funniest people I follow" gives you a list of the people you want to look at when you feel like laughing , etc.

There's more I could say but that's enough for now.

(Warning: My account is NOT for the easily offended. Do NOT follow if you dont like cursing)


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