Last week I wrote, “Klout Story Part 1 – Are you reading between the lines?, which concentrated on some of Klout’s privacy issues.

Klout’s Marketing Manager, Ms. Megan Berry, commented on my post and disputed my claim that privacy might be at risk. In her reply she said that Klout gathers public information to create a Klout profile and that they don’t breach any privacy issue by doing so.

Megan stated, “If you want your Tweets to only be available to approved followers, you can set your account to protected. Tweets posted by a protected account are only visible to approved followers and not otherwise publicly available to third parties.”

This means that protected accounts cannot be read, ranked or categorized by third parties such as Klout. Is she right? Are Klout’s statements accurate? Unfortunately, they are not. Over the weekend I checked hundreds of protected Twitter accounts that also were unregistered with Klout. I was shocked to discover that all the protected, unregistered accounts had a Klout profile complete with assigned topics and Klout scores as low as 10 but also as high as 77.

My question to Klout is how can you assign topics to a protected account when you state third parties cannot analyze protected tweets?

More importantly, who gives Klout the rights to publish protected accounts, create Klout profiles and generate topics?

See below three protected twitter accounts with their respective unregistered Klout Profiles, scores and topics. Judge Klout transparency for yourself:

I strongly believe that this so called, “Standard for Influence”, including just how Klout determines this influence and these scores, should be public knowledge. This information should be fully disclosed to users, registered or not, as well as to the 2000+ companies accessing and using these scores.

Again, it’s my opinion that Klout may be pitting the 2000 companies accessing our data in a possible legal battle against us. This represents thousands of Twitter users worldwide, potentially every single Twitter user out there, due to their unauthorized access of our information published through the Klout website.

Perhaps we should be understanding of the shortcomings due to the fact that Klout is still in Beta. But somehow the Beta issue is never presented when it comes to selling the Klout Perks Program or when the CEO of Klout Joe Fernandez is claiming in a public interview that Klout should be used in something as real and important as the hiring practices of human resource departments everywhere.

If we’re in Beta and we’re to forgive the algorithms and lack of transparency during this time, perhaps Klout should not be forging ahead with companies as well as onto resumes and into human resource offices at this time.

It’s my opinion that Twitter’s legal department should have a closer look into the privacy breaches by Klout and how Twitter’s protected user information is being accessed, collated and distributed.