Tech

Elon Musk’s Twitter Risks Big Fines From US Regulators


The FTC’s handling of Facebook helps illustrate the danger to Musk and Twitter. In 2019, following a complaint alleging a 2012 order violation, the agency dealt a blow to the company. record 5 billion USD fines, and designates CEO Mark Zuckerberg as personally responsible for compliance and certification of documents under penalty of perjury. Heavy fines could be a big problem for Twitter, which was part of Elon Musk’s takeover, already steeped in debt.

The tumultuous early weeks when Musk owned Twitter suggested that the company was in danger of missing some of the FTC’s requests. precipice reported that the recent relaunch of Twitter’s Subscription Service ignored traditional privacy and security assessments, and the company’s attorney asked employees to self-certify compliance with the FTC’s orders. The Company is required to appoint no more than five people to make decisions about how personal data such as email addresses and phone numbers are collected and used, and maintains privacy and information security programs. comprehensive investment.

According to an email seen by The Verge, Musk has assured Twitter employees that the company will do everything it can to comply with the FTC’s order. But a corporate lawyer posted an internal warning note that Twitter’s current head of legal, Alex Spiro, said the platform’s new owner plans to take big risks. because “Elon put rockets into space. He is not afraid of the FTC.”

Inquired by Twitter employees worried they could be personally liable if they breach the consent order and face jail, according to an email seen by TechCrunchSpiro tells employees that compliance is with the company, not each employee, and shares a plan to comply with the mandates of the decree.

Of course, internal reviews and external audits like the kind that the FTC requires of Twitter don’t always uncover problems. A similar FTC order for Facebook didn’t stop it Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the company, which worked on behalf of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, used a third-party app to collect data on more than 50 million people without consent. And documents obtained by Bloomberg Law Found that Twitter’s compliance with the 2011 FTC order failed to uncover shortcomings was recently highlighted by security expert turned whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko. testifying before congresspeople say the company lacks basic security measures, such as systems that prevent employees from accessing user data.

Musk’s tenure at Twitter is also under scrutiny by regulators in Ireland and the European Union, who have signaled that they are monitoring the company and in particular its compliance with the law. EU data protection law. European Union The Digital Services Act is also in effect last week. That means that by February 2024, major platforms will have to perform risk assessments, report on the use of automation in services like content moderation, and resend insights. about their algorithms, such as error rates. Failure to comply can result in penalties of up to 6% of global revenue.

Musk may have proven to Twitter users and employees — and the rest of the world watching — in recent weeks that he’s sometimes willing to flout the rules and make sweeping changes. for your new company. But he can’t change Twitter’s history of poor security or the fact that it has to deal with close scrutiny from the FTC over the next 20 years.

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