Twitter COO Dick Costolo |
Twitter scored a lot of points in Washington recently when it publicly came out in support of the government's Do Not Track policy recommendation for Web companies. But that doesn't mean the social networking and micro-blogging company can rest easy.
While praising Twitter for its Do Not Track commitment, Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Joe Barton (D-Texas), members of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus and Energy and Commerce Committee, fired off a dozen of questions Thursday to Twitter's Dick Costolo about the company's data collection and tracking practices, especially as those operations relate to Twitter's new "tailored suggestions" feature it is testing.
Twitter announced it would experiment with the feature that gives more relevant suggestions about "who to follow" the same day the company said it would honor Do Not Track features on Web browsers. In a blog post, Twitter said that if a user elects Do Not Track, it would not be able to enjoy the feature.
Among the questions the lawmakers ask Twitter is what kind of personally identifiable information Twitter is collecting, how the data is collected, and how long it will be kept. Stearns and Barton also want to know how Twitter will implement the new "who to follow" feature, how it will honor opt-out requests across mobile devices, and if Twitter is planning more experiments.
Twitter has until June 15 to respond.
The company did not comment except to say that it received the letter and would respond to it.