The federal agency is concerned that the social media company’s never ending layoffs may impact its data security practice, The Federal Trade Commission has been on a mission to compel Twitter to turn over internal communications and documents related to its ongoing layoffs, the Wall Street Journal reports.
As Twitter’s workforce continues to shrink, federal regulators seem afraid that the bird app will soon have too few employees left to comply with an earlier FTC settlement that, in light of the company’s many past data breaches, mandated strict new protections to secure users’ information. As a result, the federal agency has apparently been asking Twitter to turn over internal communications related to its new head honcho, Elon Musk.
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The FTC has written to Twitter twelve times since taking over the company in October of last year, according to the Journal’s research. According to the letters, there are worries about Twitter’s capacity to adhere to the terms of the $150 million settlement it reached with the government agency in May.
“We are concerned these staff cutbacks harm Twitter’s capacity to secure consumers’ information,” a representative from the FTC purportedly said in one of the letters delivered in November.
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee has now acquired the FTC’s letters, and on Tuesday, it published “excerpts” of them in a staff report that was harshly critical of the federal agency’s inquiry, according to the Journal. The committee has actually charged the FTC with overstepping its bounds and says the agency is making too many demands of Twitter.
According to the committee’s most recent report, “there is no logical reason why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaged with Twitter, for example. “There is no logical justification for the FTC to review all of Twitter’s hiring decisions on the basis of user privacy. Furthermore, it is illogical for the FTC to need a copy of every internal Twitter message about Elon Musk.
The FTC’s apparent request that Twitter “identify all journalists” who had access to internal company documents is one cause for concern. This request is undoubtedly a reference to the so-called “Twitter Files,” which have primarily been published by one journalist, former Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi, who now owns his own Substack. According to reports, the agency requested information from Twitter about the “type of access granted” to each reporter and inquired as to whether doing so was “compatible with your privacy and information security requirements under the Order.”
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