FTC steps up investigation into Twitter’s privacy practices
In November, three senior executives who oversee security, privacy and compliance resigned from Twitter a day before the company’s deadline to submit a compliance report to the FTC. The agency’s earlier probe into Facebook’s privacy concerns has spoken to at least two of those executives, Damian Kiernan and Leah Kisner, three people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Musk’s mass layoffs have angered the company’s legal department, which has drawn support and lawyers from Mr. Musk’s other companies, including electric car maker Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX. Three current and former employees said this led to confusion in instructions and led former junior employees to take on new responsibilities for which they were unqualified.
Over the past few months, Twitter has asked the agency for more time to answer questions about staffing and resources, saying its corporate structure and senior leadership appointments are still in flux. The FTC has the power to fine Twitter again or impose criminal penalties on executives if they mislead investigators about the state of the company’s privacy practices.
In addition to its investigation into Mr. Musk’s takeover, the agency is also reviewing allegations made by former security chief Peiter Zatko, who said in a whistleblower complaint that Twitter made false and misleading statements about it under its former management. . security measures.
FTC Chairman Lina Khan told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing in November that she was “extremely disturbed” by Mr. Zatko’s claims, particularly his assertion that Twitter misled the FTC about its compliance practices.
“There is absolutely a problem with companies viewing the FTC order as advice,” Ms. Khan said. “We’re working on a plan to really reinforce that.”
Mr Musk’s Twitter also faces potential challenges overseas. In November, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement The company has “significant work to do” in complying with the EU’s Digital Services Act, a wide-ranging set of laws that will come into force in 2024 to tackle disinformation, targeted advertising and content moderation on social media platforms .