Musk warns Twitter’s survival hangs in the balance as staff leave

Twitter’s continued exodus includes the company’s Chief Privacy Officer Damien Kieran and Chief Information Security Officer Lea Kissner, who tweeted Thursday that “I made the difficult decision to leave Twitter.”

Roth’s resignation is a “huge loss” to Twitter’s reliability and integrity, said his former colleague and friend Emily Horne.

“He worked incredibly hard under very difficult circumstances, including being personally targeted by some of the most vicious trolls that were active on the platform,” said Horne, who oversaw global political communications on Twitter until 2018. “He stuck through it all because he believed so deeply in the work his team was doing to foster a public conversation and improve the health of that conversation.

Cybersecurity expert Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer, tweeted Thursday that there is “serious risk of a breach with significantly reduced staff” that could also put Twitter at odds with a 2011 Federal order. Trade Commission which required him to solve serious problems. data security breaches.

“Twitter has made huge strides toward a more streamlined internal security model and a rollback will put them in trouble with the FTC” and other regulators in the United States and Europe, Stamos said.

The FTC said in a statement Thursday that it “is following recent developments on Twitter with grave concern.”

“No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees,” the agency’s statement said. “Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we’re ready to use them.”

The FTC wouldn’t say whether it was investigating Twitter for potential violations. If so, he is empowered to demand documents and file employees.

In an email to employees seen by the AP, Musk said, “Twitter will do everything in its power to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FTC’s consent decree.”

“Anything you read to the contrary is absolutely false. The same goes for all other government regulatory matters where Twitter operates,” Musk wrote.

Twitter paid a $150 million fine in May for breaching the 2011 consent order and its updated version established new procedures requiring the company to implement an enhanced privacy program as well as enhancing information security.

These new procedures include an extensive list of disclosures Twitter must make to the FTC when introducing new products and services, particularly as they affect personal data collected about users.

Musk is fundamentally overhauling the platform’s offerings and it’s unclear if he’s talking to the FTC about it. Twitter, which emptied its communications service, did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Musk has a history of entanglement with regulators. “I don’t respect the SEC,” Musk said in a 2018 tweet.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently reviewed possible delays in its disclosures to the agency of its Twitter stock purchases to raise a major stake. In 2018, Musk and Tesla each agreed to pay $20 million in fines for allegedly misleading tweets by Musk claiming he secured the financing to take the electric carmaker private for $420 a share. Musk fought the SEC in court over compliance with the agreement.

The consequences of failing to comply with FTC requirements can be severe, such as when Facebook had to pay $5 billion for a privacy breach.

“If Twitter is sneezing, it needs to do a privacy review first,” tweeted Riana Pfefferkorn, a Stanford University researcher who said she previously provided Twitter with outside legal advice. “There are periodic external audits, and the FTC can monitor compliance.”


AP reporters Frank Bajak and Marcy Gordon contributed to this report.

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