Big Bird is watching you

Two nuggets of Twitter news caught my eye this week. First off, contact management firm have added Twitter to their “Service Cloud”. For a fee, they will monitor all the Tweets in the feed, looking out for a specified keyword, then pass the details of Twitterers who have used that word on to the client, in real-time. The idea is that a company can be alerted when someone tweets an interest in their product, allowing a sales person to intervene in the conversation with useful advice.

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to think of this being used in a sinister way. I’m sure the FBI already look out for certain keywords, and the technology could easily be set to pick up tweets on any subject your boss, or your spouse, or the government doesn’t approve of.

Think I’m being paranoid? Read this story about how an indiscreet tweet got some poor cubicle-dweller in trouble before she’d even started the job. Then ask yourself if you really want everyone in the world to know what you’re doing right now.

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