A proposed class action lawsuit claims that Twitter surreptitiously eavesdrops on its users’ private Direct Message communications. For example, if a user privately tells a follower through the service to check out a story on nytimes.com, providing a full URL, Twitter will modify this into a custom link such as “http:/t.co/CL2SKBxr1s” (while still displaying the text “www.nytimes.com” to its users). The lawsuit says that by sending users to Twitter’s analytics servers before passing them on to the linked-to website, Twitter is benefiting by demonstrating to The New York Times and others where the source of the traffic is.
The end result is that Twitter can negotiate better advertising rates.
The claimed damages are as high as $100 per day for each Twitter user whose privacy was violated