From July to December 2013, Pinterest received 7 warrants, 5 subpoenas, 1 civil subpoena, and 12 local or federal requests for information related to a user account. Aww. . .our little social network is growing up so fast.
Pinterest just published their very first transparency report. It’s not something people like to see, but it’s actually a very positive sign of growth for the all image social network.
The bigger you are, the more chance you have of attracting negative attention, right?
The majority of local requests came in from California (4), followed by Florida (2), Utah (2), New York (1), Oregon (1), and Wisconsin (1).
In three cases, they were not allowed to inform the account owner that the request had been made. They turned over the requested information in all but one case.
What I find amusing about all transparency reports is that they’re not all that transparent. We don’t know why law enforcement wanted this information and we don’t know what made Pinterest say no that one time.
But what really blows my mind is the fact that several law enforcement agencies felt the need to gather data from Pinterest. Facebook I get. Twitter I get. But Pinterest? Did someone post threatening graphics or anti-government propaganda? Did a thief post photos of the loot he got from his last job? Maybe a counterfeiter showed off his latest work of art?
I don’t mean to make light of the situation but you have to admit it’s crazy. The idea of hardened FBI agents combing through pages and pages of St. Patrick’s Day smoothies, DIY birdhouse instructions, Spring fashions and nail art ideas both tickles and worries me.
The worry comes from the fact that no place on the internet is safe. I’m not taking a stand on the government and internet privacy, I’m talking about the fact that even a creative community like Pinterest has a few bad apples. Then again, I guess I shouldn’t assume that the account holders were actually guilty of anything.
No matter how I try to keep away from it, this post keeps heading into murky waters.
The only point I really wanted to make is that it’s all out there and it’s hard to get it back once you’ve hit enter. Make it a point to at review what your employees are posting and what other people are saying about you and your company online on a regular basis. Chances are your company name will never turn up on a social media warrant but you’ll sleep better knowing that it wouldn’t matter if it did.
Let’s end this on a lighter note. I just love the bio of the guy who wrote the transparency report blog post:
Adam Barton, legal guy, currently discovering Woodworking and Woodworking Project inspiration from Bob Villa, Rockler and Popular Woodworking.
Legal guy. LOL. Oh the times, they are a changin’