Twitter Users Drop Eavesdropping Claims

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A class of Twitter users on Thursday voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit claiming the social media company eavesdropped on users’ private messages.
     Lead plaintiff Wilford Raney sued the social network in September, claiming Twitter intercepted direct messages in order to replace hyperlinks with its own Twitter-generated links.
     Altering links in those messages demonstrates the source of traffic came from Twitter, increasing the tech company’s “perceived value to third-party websites and would-be advertisers,” according to the lawsuit.
     Raney claimed the social network never disclosed the fact that it seeks out and replaces links in private messages, which users expect to remain private.
     On Thursday, attorneys for Raney notified the court of its decision to voluntarily dismiss the class action based on new information learned in a Jan. 6 deposition.
     Class attorney Alexander Nguyen of Edelson P.C. declined to comment on why his client chose to dismiss the suit or what information was obtained in the deposition.
     Twitter previously filed a motion to dismiss on Nov. 9, claiming the laws it was accused of violating in the complaint – the Wiretap Act and Children’s Internet Protection Act – do not apply to processing electronic communications, such as direct messages.
     Twitter’s attorney, Michael Rodes of Cooley LLP, did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment Friday morning.
     A Twitter spokeswoman on Friday would not say whether Twitter views direct messages exchanged between its users, but stated in an email: “We’re pleased the case was voluntarily dismissed by the Plaintiff without us paying anything or entering into a settlement.”

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