close
close

Democrats warn Musk after Twitter security execs leave

  • Twitter’s recent key departures could land the platform in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission if it can’t honor an earlier deal, Democratic senators warned company leaders in a letter.
  • Ella Irwin, head of trust and safety, and AJ Brown, head of brand safety and ad quality, left the company last week.
  • Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Ron Wyden and Mazie Hirono expressed concern about Twitter’s ability to meet its commitments in light of the departures.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speaks during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, DC on May 16, 2023.

To Drago | Mayor Bloomberg | fake images

Twitter’s recent key departures could land the platform in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission if it can’t honor an earlier deal, Democratic senators warned company leaders Friday.

After news broke last week that both Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, and head of brand safety and ad quality, AJ Brown, had left, four senators wrote in a letter to Twitter’s owner. , Elon Musk, and the new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, who were concerned about Twitter’s ability to meet its legal obligations.

Twitter signed a consent decree with the FTC finalized in 2011 that prohibited the company from misleading consumers about its security and privacy protections for 20 years and from requiring a robust information security program subject to independent audits. Last year, Twitter reached a $150 million settlement with the FTC and the Justice Department for allegedly violating that agreement by using consumer information it allegedly collected for security reasons to target ads.

In the letter, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, expressed concern about Twitter’s ability to meet its previous engagements in light of recent departures.

“These personnel changes, first-hand accounts from employees, and the rushed launch of new products raise questions about whether Twitter can meet its obligations under the FTC’s consent decree,” the senators wrote. “In apparent dismissal of concerns about reducing his workforce, Mr. Musk’s team has said that he is ‘used to going to court and paying fines, and wasn’t worried about the risks,'” citing an article in the New York Times describing the Musk acquisition.

Democrats asked Twitter leaders several questions about whether and how the company has complied with the security and privacy obligations of the FTC’s consent decree. The senators requested responses by June 18.

“Mr. Musk’s behavior reveals an apparent disregard for Twitter’s longstanding legal obligations, which did not disappear when Mr. Musk took over the company,” the senators wrote. “Regardless of his personal wealth, Mr. Musk is not exempt from the law, and neither is the company he bought.”

Twitter responded to a request for comment with only an automated response.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

WATCH: A timeline of the Elon Musk-Twitter takeover saga

Source