Home News FTC Investigates Elon Musk’s Impact on Data Privacy and Security at Twitter

FTC Investigates Elon Musk’s Impact on Data Privacy and Security at Twitter

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Data Privacy and Security

Recent court filings have shed light on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigation into Elon Musk’s role in privacy and security concerns at Twitter, now known as X. These newly revealed documents from the Department of Justice depict a turbulent atmosphere under Musk’s leadership that hindered the company’s compliance with its obligations to the FTC.

This investigation can be traced back to a 2022 settlement between the FTC and Twitter, which was led by Jack Dorsey at the time. Twitter had faced allegations of deceptive ad targeting and had already paid a hefty $150 million fine. As part of the settlement, they agreed to implement specific privacy and security measures. However, once Musk assumed control, these additional data protection measures seemed to have been neglected, prompting renewed scrutiny from the regulatory body.

The FTC began its inquiry in March, focusing on the hasty launch of Twitter Blue, a subscription service. This launch reportedly occurred without the necessary privacy and security review mandated by the FTC settlement. Additionally, Musk’s handling of the “Twitter Files” has come under scrutiny.

The latest court documents provide insights from former high-ranking Twitter executives. Damien Kieran, Twitter’s former chief privacy officer, revealed that Twitter Blue was rushed to market without a proper security and privacy review in line with the company’s development process.

Employee concerns also arose regarding Musk’s attempts to provide unrestricted access to an outside journalist to Twitter’s internal systems. Notably, the filing highlights that the intervention of “longtime information security employees” was required, and the journalist ultimately gained access through an intermediary.

Furthermore, concerns were raised about Musk’s reconfiguration of company servers between data centers. The company’s policy stipulated that servers should be wiped before being moved, but this protocol allegedly wasn’t followed, according to former Twitter employees. The rapid layoffs initiated by Musk also resulted in significant staff reductions among those who could have aided Twitter in complying with the FTC’s requirements.

As of now, X has not responded to requests for comment. Musk has previously characterized this investigation as the “weaponization of a government agency for political purposes.”

Ultimately, X’s owner may find themselves directly answerable to the FTC. The regulator contends that Musk should be deposed, though X’s legal team has sought to prevent this. The government argues that the evidence uncovered during the investigation indicates that Musk exercised detailed control over X Corp., potentially jeopardizing data privacy and security in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Data Privacy and Security

What prompted the FTC’s investigation into Elon Musk’s involvement with Twitter, now X Corp?

The FTC initiated its investigation as a result of a 2022 settlement between the FTC and Twitter regarding deceptive ad targeting during Jack Dorsey’s tenure.

What specific issues have raised concerns during Elon Musk’s leadership at X Corp?

Several issues have come to light, including the rushed launch of Twitter Blue without a proper privacy and security review, Musk’s handling of the “Twitter Files,” and concerns over server reconfiguration without following data wiping protocols.

How did former Twitter executives contribute to the investigation?

Former executives, such as Damien Kieran, Twitter’s former chief privacy officer, provided information about the inadequacies in the launch of Twitter Blue and Musk’s attempts to grant an outside journalist access to internal systems.

What actions did the government take in response to these concerns?

The government argues that Musk should be deposed, contending that he exercised granular control over X Corp, potentially jeopardizing data privacy and security.

How has X Corp and Elon Musk responded to the investigation?

X Corp has not commented on the matter. Elon Musk has previously characterized the investigation as a “weaponization of a government agency for political purposes.”

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FTCWatcher September 13, 2023 - 5:31 am

Musk, time 2 answer questions! Govt wants to grill him. Big drama!

GadgetGuru September 13, 2023 - 6:08 am

Musk’s server shuffle, big oopsie! FTC’s knockin’ on the door.

MovieMania September 13, 2023 - 3:53 pm

Musk, always creatin’ chaos. Twitter Blue, no review? Bad move!

TechGeek93 September 13, 2023 - 6:48 pm

wow! FTC’s nosy, innit? like, y r they even investig8in’ Elon? privacy mess is a big deal!

MusicLover123 September 13, 2023 - 11:53 pm

Damien Kieran spillin’ the beans, Twitter’s secrets out!


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