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Twitter terminates agreement with controversial celebrity spotting website JustSpotted

October 14, 2010 |  1:42 pm

Justspotted
Twitter said it has terminated its relationship with JustSpotted.com, a controversial new celebrity spotting website that is slated to launch next week.

But JustSpotted quickly replied Thursday that it would continue to use Twitter to update celebrity locations.

JustSpotted plans to use a combination of Twitter feeds, Facebook updates, Foursquare posts and blog updates to plot a celebrity's location anywhere around the world in near real-time. A celebrity's position is plotted on a map of the world, with information about the restaurant or other venue where they'd been spotted -- but not the actual address.

Co-founder and Chief Executive AJ Asver said the celebrity gawking website, which launches Oct. 19, is intended to indulge fans' desire to get the latest updates about the stars they love, using publicly available information volunteered by celebrities.

But JustSpotted raised alarms among privacy advocates, who say it represents a new kind of intrusion on people's lives.

"Once a celebrity might have worried about someone with a camera and a flash," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Washington-based advocacy group, Electronic Privacy Information Center. "Now they have to worry about someone with a cellphone and a Twitter account."

JustSpotted is a new service from Scoopler, a start-up that got funding from Y Combinator in 2008. It had licensed Twitter's "firehose" data feed of all public updates for its real-time search engine, Scoopler.com.

"JustSpotted.com is not the product we licensed, and we have terminated their agreement," Twitter spokesman Matt Graves said in an e-mailed statement.

The website's Asver said in an e-mail response that its relationship with Twitter relates to Scoopler and not to JustSpotted, which would continue to aggregate updates from multiple sources including Twitter.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski and Jessica Guynn

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