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Gina

The hostess of this here party.

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9 Comments

  1. 1

    Michael Wyres

    Really love that they have done the right thing in scrubbing location data over a period of time. However, I see a couple of potential “issues” with that. How do you deal with the scrubbing of location data after “X” amount of time (in this case 14 days) if you have built some kind of mashup around a certain event (eg: a political rally?) and the people attending – say, everyone at the rally uses a certain hashtag, so you collect all the tweets with that hashtag and associate their location at the time of the tweet for verification. Does the mashup break after 14 days? Certainly, you couldn’t recreate it from re-pulling the data from Twitter, but is the author of the mashup required to delete the location data after 14 days also? And how would that be enforced?
    Secondly, Twitter are being socially responsible in deleting the location data after a set period, but what if pressure is brought to bear (by say, a government) for this data to be kept indefinitely. Where does that leave the location-aware tweet? People wishing to subpoena information regarding your location now becomes a 14 day race between you and the lawyers.

  2. 2

    Paul Gailey Alburquerque

    This is the thin end of the fantastic wedge that is real-time geolocation publishing for people and things or devices, the latter being underestimated in importance I believe.

    Presumably this will rollout globally so how soon after this will Twitter display trending topics by locale to make the service more relevant to glocal users?

    On a related note, when do you think we can expect the web interface to be localised into other languages, like Spanish. With competing services apeing Twitter in other languages (FBlite?) Twitter may suffer from uneven market penetration or fail to truly go mainstream everywhere.

  3. 3

    Gina Trapani

    How do you deal with the scrubbing of location data after “X” amount of time (in this case 14 days) if you have built some kind of mashup around a certain event (eg: a political rally?) and the people attending – say, everyone at the rally uses a certain hashtag, so you collect all the tweets with that hashtag and associate their location at the time of the tweet for verification. Does the mashup break after 14 days?

    In that case, I think the app should collect the data at the time of the event, then after 14 days scrub the individual users’ lat/log coordinates and assign one central coordinate to the entire event, with a radius–‘this thing happened in this area.’

    Certainly, you couldn’t recreate it from re-pulling the data from Twitter, but is the author of the mashup required to delete the location data after 14 days also? And how would that be enforced?

    I think anonymizing it by “fuzzing” the exact location of individual users is what Twitter is encouraging. I’m not sure how and if they will enforce this. I believe geo-centric applications should be upfront about how long they keep data till they fuzz or delete it.

    Presumably this will rollout globally so how soon after this will Twitter display trending topics by locale to make the service more relevant to glocal users?

    Not sure of the timeline for Twitter proper to roll out geofeatures, but it sure is interesting that they’re letting third party developers at it first, that’s for sure.

  4. 4

    Mark Linford

    Very cool. I assume we can put this into Twitalytic as some point? We could generate some cool reports (say, where most of my followers are located at, etc.)

  5. 5

    Gina Trapani

    @Mark: Oh yeah, lots of possibilities for Twitalytic, but interesting decisions to be made re: scrubbing.

  6. 6

    David

    Very interesting. Do you know if they will have any way to detect location “spoofing”?

    I am doing a research project on the reliability of location based updates on social media networks. With twitter releasing this shortly, it is about to get very interesting.

  7. 7

    tz

    You could drop a few bits or decimals every few days, so you end up with just the integer degrees for a location.

    But what I would like to know if you could update your location directly via SMS (on a non data phone), or would it require internet access.

  8. 8

    Steve Hall

    Hmm…I’m curious about the Sarbannes-Oxley implications of scrubbing geodata “to avoid subpoenas.” (Not that I think SOX is a good law, but that’s a different issue.)

    I sure hope the Twitter devs haven’t deleted their email discussions about this issue.

  9. 9

    Christian Hentschel

    Hey guys try http://weegoh.com. We’re also using twitter data to enhance users’s experience!!

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