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Twitter's got a new UK public policy wonk... 'You are the product' Big Brother Watch bloke!

Privacy campaigner to work for air-your-life-out microblog

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Twitter has hired a well-known privacy campaigner to head up the UK wing of its public policy team.

Big Brother Watch director Nick Pickles is moving over to what some might consider to be the dark side by taking such a job, having been a vocal critic of US tech companies' privacy practices in the past.

In February 2012, for example, Pickles said of his new employer:

People may consider tweets to be personal property but this deal [Twitter allowing businesses to buy access to its archive of millions of tweets] makes clear they are not. Our personal posts on social media are yet another way for advertisements to be better targeted and that’s a very lucrative industry.

It’s clear that if you’re not paying for a service, you are not the customer – you’re the product.

Pickles, who failed at his attempt to become a Tory MP in 2010, will sit on the BBW advisory council, while the org's Emma Carr becomes acting director.

"At a time when the future of privacy and free speech online are high on the agenda it is very exciting to be joining Twitter," said Pickles. ®

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