Twitter is such a unique little social networking tool. Never before has 140 characters had the potential to be so powerful. As a company, it’s a great way to generate a buzz about your product or service. But on the flip side, while a company can participate in the Twitterverse, it can never control it. Anyone can send a public message to or about your company, and there’s nothing you can do to suppress that speech. Your only option to counter speech you don’t like is with more speech of your own — a First Amendment advocate’s utopia.
And so, I propose to you this: the next time a company takes more information than necessary, is found to have disclosed information in a way that you don’t like, or otherwise oversteps your privacy boundaries, let them know, in public, on Twitter. You make the company aware that you know (and disapprove) of their transgression, you let their customers know the same, and you place great pressure on them to fix the issue.
Companies must know that you’re watching in order to care. It’s really simple to give them that message.
This is one of a 30-part series, “No Surveillance State Month,” where daily for the month of June I’ll be posting ways to avoid invasion of your privacy in the digital age. The intent of these posts is not to enable one to escape detection while engaging in criminal activity — there’s still the old-fashioned “send a detective to watch you” for which these posts will not help. Rather, this series will help you to opt-out of the en masse collection of data by the government and large corporations that places Americans in databases without their knowing and freely-given consent for indefinite time periods. We all have the right to privacy, and I hope you demand it.