US FTC intensifies investigation of Twitter privacy practices

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is intensifying an into Twitter's data and practices and is seeking testimony from Mr Elon Musk, who has laid off the bulk of Twitter's workforce since acquiring the company in 2022.

The investigation is focused on whether Twitter has adequate resources to protect its users' privacy after the mass layoffs and budget cuts ordered by Mr Musk, said five people familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The agency, which currently has oversight over Twitter, investigated a former executive's claims of security problems last summer and ramped up its inquiry after the abrupt resignations of three top executives responsible for privacy, security and compliance.

They left Twitter in November, shortly after Mr Musk acquired the company.

The agency has requested a conversation with Mr Musk, two of the people said.

It has also sought to interview former Twitter employees who worked on privacy and security at the company.

The inquiry has been criticised by a sub-committee of the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, which said on Tuesday that the FTC was engaged in an “aggressive campaign to harass Twitter” and had issued more than 350 requests for information since Mr Musk took over the company in October.

Mr Musk's takeover of Twitter has drawn scrutiny from several enforcement agencies.

While the FTC has dug into whether Twitter has the resources to abide by its privacy promises to consumers, the European Union has pressured Twitter to release more data about how it fights disinformation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also probed whether Mr Musk's purchases of Twitter stock had been properly disclosed.

“Protecting consumers' privacy is exactly what the FTC is supposed to do,” Mr Douglas Farrar, an agency spokesman, said in a statement.

“It should come as no surprise that career staff at the commission are conducting a rigorous investigation into Twitter's compliance with a consent order that came into effect long before Mr Musk purchased the company.”

The SEC declined to comment.

The FTC has pressed Twitter to explain its management structure and to define Mr Musk's precise role at the company.

It has also questioned whether Twitter has the necessary staff and financial resources to keep up with its privacy obligations, as Mr Musk continues to cut costs and lay off workers.

You might also like

Comments are closed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More