Right now the web UI exposes every piece of metadata in a tweet to
end-users. That is, an end-user can use twitter.com to check the complete
contents of tweet sent by an application. I didn't see anything in the
proposals regarding the annotation feature that says that users will be able
to see all the annotations through the web UI. And, even if they could see
them, chances are they couldn't understand them. And, even if end-users
could understand them, applications will be able to use encryption and other
obfuscation to make them impossible to interpret. This reduces the amount of
control users have over their tweets.


Right now an application cannot disclose the user's location in a tweet,
except by putting the location information in the tweet text (which the user
can see very clearly), or by putting the location information in the
built-in geo feature. The ability for applications to expose the user's
information is controlled by a preference that can be controlled only by the
official web interface on twitter.com. However, with the annotations
feature, applications will be able to expose the user's location-again,
possibly encrypted or otherwise obfuscated-even when application access to
the location feature is disabled. It doesn't make sense to disable an
applications' access to the geo feature and then let it silently and
undetectably disclose the user's location-perhaps in even more detail than
the built-in geo feature allows.


I think there must be some kind of control mechanism in place for
annotations, or the web UI must present all the annotations of a user's
tweets to that user, or both, in order to prevent the annotations feature
from becoming a side channel for applications to communicate users' private
information without users' knowledge or consent. I would like to know more
about how this is going to be done.




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