NEWS FROM THE LAB - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Twitter Now Tracking User IP Addresses Posted by Sean @ 13:48 GMT

On Monday, I was testing our Freedome VPN for Windows and eventually… I forgot that I was using our London exit node.

Freedome for Windows, London

And then I attempted to log in to Twitter.

This was the result:

Twitter, Verify your identity

And then I received this message via e-mail:

5ean5ullivan, Reset your password

An unusual device or location?

In order to determine that I was attempting to log in from an "unusual" location, Twitter must be keeping a history of my previous IP addresses to compare against. This type of security feature is not new, Facebook has been doing this sort of thing for years already. But I've not yet seen it from Twitter. (A few years ago, Twitter seemed to be actively against such an idea.) Unlike Facebook, I don't see anyplace from which I can download my own connection history. Previous IP addresses used are available to those who download a Facebook archive. But IP address information isn't in the Twitter archive that I downloaded today.

So then the questions I now have for Twitter is this: for how long have my connections been logged and tracked? And when will a copy of the data be available to me?

March 11th update:

Eagle-eyed reader Tero Alhonen found the answer to one of my questions in Twitter's Privacy Policy.

Twitter's Privacy Policy, Log Data

Twitter "may" receive information such as IP address and will "either delete Log Data or remove any common account identifiers" "after 18 months." The language about 18 months was first included in version 5 of the policy, June 23, 2011.

So then that just leaves this question: can I please get a copy of the data?

Post by — Sean