Twitter accounts outside of the US now fall under EU data protection rules

Twitter's International headquarters will be in Dublin

Twitter revised its privacy policy over the weekend, changing where it handles the account information of users outside the U.S. and clarifying some points.

As of Saturday, account information for Twitter users outside the U.S. is handled by Twitter International in Dublin, Ireland. This means that all account information will be subject to Irish privacy and data protection law, which is based on the European Union's Data Protection Directive, Twitter said on its site.

The accounts of U.S. users will still be handled by Twitter's head office in San Francisco under U.S. law.

Dublin is popular with U.S. tech companies, which often base their international and EU operations there. The country's favorable corporation tax regime is often seen as a reason for IT companies to settle there -- as is the small staff of its privacy regulator, which has a staff of just 29 to tackle domestic and international companies.

The office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) will have more resources to police companies like Twitter and Facebook, which also controls its European operations from there: In December the Irish government doubled its budget, from €1.89 million (a little over US$2 million) in 2014 to €3.65 million this year.

What's more, since last years "right to be forgotten" ruling gave Spain's privacy regulator the right to enforce EU privacy laws against Google, privacy regulators in other countries have taken this ruling to start their own procedures against tech companies. This means that companies like Twitter and Facebook, which also has its European headquarters in Ireland, are now subject to the scrutiny of privacy regulators other than the Irish DPC.

Meanwhile, the EU is preparing a new Data Protection Regulation under which European privacy regulators are planned to have more cooperation on cross-border privacy cases. In order to prepare for such a system which can be extremely challenging for data protection regulators in the coming years, the Irish DPC will move from a small office in the Irish countryside to Dublin where it will have room for additional expert staff.

Besides changing things for users outside of the U.S., Twitter is also adding a couple of clarifications to its privacy policy, making it easier to read and adding some extra detail, it said.

The company for instance clarified that people signing up for Twitter can use a pseudonym as their name, something that Facebook does not allow. Twitter also clarified that a phone number can be used as contact information.

The changes were made to improve support for users globally, Twitter said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securitytwitterprivacy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?