Twitter posts not private, says press watchdog

Posts to the microblogging site are not private, according to a ruling from the Privacy Complaints Commission, after a civil servant complained her tweets were published in newspapers

The Press Complaints Commission has ruled that messages on microblogging site Twitter count as public information, following a complaint from a civil servant after her tweets were published in the Daily Mail and The Independent on Sunday.

Twitter privacy

Tweets are public information, according to the Press Complaints Commission Credit: pixelbully

The Department for Transport employee made the complaint on the grounds that she had a "reasonable expectation" that her tweets, in which she complained about her job, would only be read by the 700 or so people following her.

However, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) ruled that because the civil servant had not restricted access to her tweets, they were available for everyone to read and so belong in the public domain. Also, since even private tweets can easily be reposted, users of the site should expect their posts to reach a larger audience than those directly following them.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Thought your tweets were private? Not so, says PCC on

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