Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) are looking into the extent of Twitter’s compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As reported by Fortune, a researcher used a short link provided by Twitter to request more knowledge of the data held on them. However, the platform refused to submit the information, in contravention of the EU data laws.

Under the GDPR, users residing in the EU are afforded new rights in order to give individuals more control over how their data is obtained, stored and passed on. Integral to these is the user’s (data subject’s) right to know precisely what a company knows about you, how the information is stored, for how long and how the data is used.

Twitter’s failure to honour this clause has prompted an investigation by the regulators.

The “t.co” link used by privacy expert, Michael Veale, was used to find out how Twitter monitors his browsing habits, and he requested that the platform give him all the data held on him.

The request was denied, with Twitter citing “disproportionate effort” because of the level of work required to source all the relevant information, even though the research provision is a requirement under GDPR.

Veale maintains that Twitter is not permitted to withhold data and still meet the transparency demands of current EU data laws, and argues that the law is being misinterpreted by the popular social network.

A complaint was subsequently made to the GDPR’s watchdog in Ireland, the Irish Data Protection Commission, which has responded by saying that a probe will be launched into the situation. The investigation will be handled by the European Data Protection Board.

A segment of the letter published on the Mashable website, reads:

“The DPC has initiated a formal statutory inquiry in respect of your complaint.”

“The inquiry will examine whether or not Twitter has discharged its obligations in connection with the subject matter of your complaint and determine whether or not any provisions of the GDPR or the [Irish Data Protection] Act have been contravened by Twitter in this respect.”


GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at http://www.gdprsummit.london/


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