Senators to FTC: Probe Twitter security, take needed action

Reacting to the tumult and mass layoffs at Twitter beneath its new proprietor Elon Musk, a group of Democratic senators on Thursday asked federal regulators to research any feasible violations by way of the platform of consumer-protection legal guidelines or of its data-security commitments.

The senators also requested Lina Khan, head of the Federal Trade Commission, to take enforcement movement if needed against Twitter and employer executives for “any breaches or business practices which might be unfair or misleading.”

The FTC said remaining week it is “tracking recent trends at Twitter with deep problem.”

A key cognizance is the 2011 consent settlement that Twitter signed with the company, requiring the San Francisco organisation to deal with critical records-protection lapses. Twitter paid a $one hundred fifty million penalty in May, numerous months earlier than Musk’s takeover, for violating the consent order. An updated version mounted new methods requiring the organisation to enforce an stronger privateness-safety software as well as beefing up facts protection.In the ultra-modern turn, employees confronted a 5 p.M. Eastern cut-off date Thursday to answer to a Musk email asking them to click on “Yes” on a hyperlink in the event that they need to be part of the “new Twitter.” Those not replying by using that point had been to obtain three months’ severance, in line with his email.

Musk, who completed the $forty four billion takeover of the business enterprise in overdue October, fired a lot of its complete-time workforce with the aid of e mail early this month and is predicted to get rid of an untold variety of contract jobs for the ones accountable for preventing incorrect information and different dangerous content material.

A number of engineers stated on Twitter they had been fired after pronouncing something important of Musk, either publicly on Twitter or on an internal messaging board for Twitter personnel.

Musk is basically overhauling the offerings of the influential social platform, and it’s now not acknowledged whether or not he’s telling the FTC approximately it, as required beneath the 2011 settlement.

In current weeks Musk “has taken alarming steps which have undermined the integrity and safety of the platform, and introduced new features notwithstanding clear warnings the ones modifications might be abused for fraud, scams and perilous impersonation,” the seven Democratic senators, led by means of Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said in a letter to Khan.“Users are already going through the serious repercussions of this increase-at-all-costs approach,” they wrote, noting current incidences of faux bills impersonating President Joe Biden, lawmakers, athletes, organizations and others.

“We are involved that the actions taken via Mr. Musk and others in Twitter management ought to already constitute a violation of the FTC’s consent decree, which prohibits misrepresentation and requires that Twitter preserve a complete facts-protection application,” the letter says.

Commenting last week at the developments, the FTC said “No CEO or company is above the law, and groups have to observe our consent decrees. Our revised consent order gives us new gear to ensure compliance, and we are organized to use them.”The employer would not say whether it is investigating Twitter for capacity violations. If it were, it is empowered to demand documents and depose employees.

FTC officers declined to comment on the senators’ request Thursday.

After the FTC’s caution got here to mild final week, Musk stated “Twitter will do something it takes to adhere to both the letter and spirit of the FTC consent decree.”

Also signing the letter to FTC Chair Khan were Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

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