Many users on Twitter are making use of a new tool called Twopcharts which shows them the accounts they have most interacted with on the social media site.
The website, which requires users to sign in with their Twitter account, lets people see their following and follower history, how long a user has spent on Twitter, and how active they are on Twitter.
Users have been posting images of their most interacted accounts, provided by Twopcharts, on Twitter.
However, others have raised concerns about the access users have to hand over in order to get that data.
Moreover, Twopcharts does not have easily accessible Terms and Conditions or Cookies policy on its website.
As such, it is unclear how Twopcharts is using the data people allow it access to.
What is Twopcharts?
Twopcharts offers stats and data about how people have used their Twitter accounts.
It also allows users to get information about other Twitter accounts.
Opening a temporary Twitter profile, signing up to Twopcharts, and searching for the Twitter account @adamndsmith brought up data about the average number of times a user tweeted and when they were tweeted, broken down into a tweets-per-hour graph.
The account @adamndsmith was not signed up to Twopcharts.
It can also let users see who has followed them, and who they are following, over time. In order to do this, users need to follow @followerhistory and @fwinghistory (Following History) on Twitter.
Both of these accounts say their location is in Dublin, Ireland. The Independent has reached out to Twopchats for clarification.
Twopcharts offers an “Interaction Overview.” At time of writing, that overview would take 198 minutes for Twopcharts to generate. There were apparently nearly 1600 people also generating reports.
Users can bypass this wait by purchasing a subscription, priced at €5 for 24 hours, €10 for one month, and €100 for a year.
Subscription information is only available to users that have given Twopcharts access to their Twitter account.
“If you take a 24 hours subscription we will give your request immediate priority, and you will receive a large HD interaction overview that shows up to 120 Twitter accounts you interacted with!” Twopcharts says.
“If you take a monthly subscription you will get a poster size image of 2700×1800 pixels!”
What permissions does Twopcharts need?
When signing up for Twopcharts, it requests access to:
- See Tweets from your timeline (including protected Tweets) as well as your Lists and collections.
- See your Twitter profile information and account settings.
- See accounts you follow, mute, and block.
- Follow and unfollow accounts for you.
- Update your profile and account settings.
- Post and delete Tweets for you, and engage with Tweets posted by others (Like, un-Like, or reply to a Tweet, Retweet, etc.) for you.
- Create, manage, and delete Lists and collections for you.
- Mute, block, and report accounts for you.
“We will never surprise you or Twitter (in a negative way),” Twopchart says.
A Twitter help page says users should be “cautious before giving any third-party app access to your account.
“We also suggest you regularly review third-party apps which have access to use your account to confirm that you still want to give them access.”
Why should I be concerned?
Information about Twocharts is conflicting. The Twitter account for Global Twopcharts (@twopcharts_gl) was launched in August 2009.
The account linked on Twopcharts’ website, (@twopchartsisok) joined the site July 2014.
Clicking on the hyperlink to learn more information about Twopcharts’ cookie use leads to a Twopchart user page for the Twitter account @cookies.
It is unclear what cookies Twopchart uses, whether the company makes money separate to its subscription service, or whether the company passes user data on to third parties. The website does run advertisements. The Independent has reached out to Twopchart for clarification.
Twitter’s Development Policy, which developers have to abide by to develop third-party applications, states: “Protecting and defending the privacy of people on Twitter is built into the core DNA of our company. As such, we prohibit the use of Twitter data in any way that would be inconsistent with people’s reasonable expectations of privacy.”
“By building on the Twitter API or accessing Twitter Content, you have a special role to play in safeguarding this commitment, most importantly by respecting people’s privacy and providing them with transparency and control over how their data is used.”
The Independent has reached out to Twitter for clarification on whether Twopcharts adequately protects user privacy.
According to Ireland’s CRO (Companies Registration Office), JNFE Consulting is located at Leader Hall, Booterstown Avenue, Dublin.
That location appears to be an apartment building.
The website for JNFE Consulting is “not available at this time”. This may be because no content was uploaded to the page, or the domain provider has suspended the page.
Under Scamadvisor’s company data, seemingly randomly-generated email addresses (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) appear under the email information for both the company and the website’s administrator.
Arco Wagemakers, the apparent founder of the site and director of JNFE Consulting, is also the owner of Abunova Investments, also located in Amsterdam, according to his LinkedIn account.
Abunova Investments has apparently been in existence for over 11 years. It seemingly does not have a website, Facebook, or Twitter page.
Amsterdam’s Chamber of Commerce has Abunova Investments located at Bertrand Russell Street in Amsterdam.
Its location has the same address and postal code of the Amsterdam address of JNFE Consulting.
I already used Twopcharts? What should I do?
In order to revoke Twopcharts’ access to your account, users need to navigate to the Settings and Privacy section of their Twitter account.
Under “Data and Permissions” is a section called “apps and sessions”. Clicking that will allow you to revoke access of any app.
It is unclear what information, if any, Twopcharts retains on the user. The Independent has reached out to Twopcharts for clarification.