Twitter launches transparency report site on Data Privacy Day

28 Jan 2013

In the spirit of an open and safe internet – and to mark international Data Privacy Day, a day focused on raising awareness and promoting data privacy education – Twitter has released its second ever transparency report with a dedicated website.

The first Twitter Transparency Report was released last July and consisted of six months of data on government requests seeking user information, government requests to withhold content, and complaints from copyright-holders.

To effectively share the information in its latest transparency report and make it more accessible, Twitter has today rolled out a new dedicated site for the cause – and just in time for Data Privacy Day. allows users to explore Twitter’s second report, which now features more granular detail in relation to information requests from the US. This is where most information requests originate from (815 to be exact) and some or all information requested was produced in 69pc of these cases.

In all, 1,858 information requests have been received by Twitter since 1 January 2012, as well as 48 removal requests and 6,646 copyright notices.

The scope of removal requests (which ask for content that may be illegal in certain jurisdictions to be taken down) and copyright notices has also been expanded in this latest report. Twitter site accessibility data has also been added through Twitter’s partner, Herdict.

The reason behind publishing this information is two-fold: to raise public awareness of these kinds of requests and to enable policy-makers to make more informed decisions.

“We believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression – and real privacy implications,” wrote Twitter’s legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.