Twitter & Dublin Posted by John on 27 May 2015

Twitter recently announced its intention to move all customer data out of the US jurisdiction and into Ireland, ensuring that this data will fall under Irish and European Data Protection laws.

Estimates indicate that currently over 77% of the user base data is currently residing in Dublin, which is approximately 250 million individuals.

Bringing over the US data will now bring the total number to over 288 million users, which will be one of Ireland’s largest data farms to date.

Interestingly Twitter recently changed its privacy policy in which it stated “nothing in this Privacy Policy is intended to limit any legal defences or objections that you may have to a third party’s, including a government’s, request to disclose your information”.

To put this into further context, currently Microsoft are in a legal fight with the courts in New York, to prevent a warrant taking affect to access data residing in Microsoft’s data centre in Dublin. What many are unaware of is that Microsoft’s primary concern is that the process under which this warrant has been issued is not in line with what is defined as acceptable and agreed practice, as opposed to an objection on the transfer of the data per se.

Ultimately, the likelihood is that the US multi-nationals which are moving their data to Ireland are doing so as part of a process to minimize both operational overhead and potential brand damage in ongoing association with federal or state law that is requiring access to data. If authorities in the US are starting to open up and broaden the process of access, then the costs to multi-nationals will certainly massively increase, and the negative media opinion pieces will add further pressure. Anything they can do to restrict this will make commercial sense to them.