WASHINGTON — Reacting to the tumult and mass layoffs at Twitter below its new proprietor Elon Musk, a bunch of Democratic senators on Thursday requested federal regulators to research any doable violations by the platform of consumer-protection legal guidelines or of its data-security commitments.
The senators additionally requested Lina Khan, head of the Federal Commerce Fee, to take enforcement motion if wanted in opposition to Twitter and firm executives for “any breaches or enterprise practices which are unfair or misleading.”
The FTC mentioned final week it’s “monitoring latest developments at Twitter with deep concern.”
A key focus is the 2011 consent settlement that Twitter signed with the company, requiring the San Francisco firm to deal with severe data-security lapses. Twitter paid a $150 million penalty in Could, a number of months earlier than Musk’s takeover, for violating the consent order. An up to date model established new procedures requiring the corporate to implement an enhanced privacy-protection program in addition to beefing up data safety.
Developments on the bottom at Twitter have been chaotic, and consultants and Twitter workers are warning of significant safety dangers flowing from the drastically lowered workers and deepening dysfunction.
Musk, who accomplished the $44 billion takeover of the corporate in late October, fired a lot of its full-time workforce by e mail early this month and is anticipated to remove an untold variety of contract jobs for these liable for combating misinformation and different dangerous content material.
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Quite a few engineers mentioned on Twitter they have been fired after saying one thing crucial of Musk, both publicly on Twitter or on an inside messaging board for Twitter workers.
Musk is essentially overhauling the choices of the influential social platform, and it’s not recognized whether or not he’s telling the FTC about it, as required below the 2011 settlement.
In latest weeks Musk “has taken alarming steps which have undermined the integrity and security of the platform, and introduced new options regardless of clear warnings these adjustments could be abused for fraud, scams and harmful impersonation,” the seven Democratic senators, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, mentioned in a letter to Khan.
“Customers are already going through the intense repercussions of this growth-at-all-costs technique,” they wrote, noting latest incidences of pretend accounts impersonating President Joe Biden, lawmakers, athletes, firms and others.
“We’re involved that the actions taken by Mr. Musk and others in Twitter administration may already characterize a violation of the FTC’s consent decree, which prohibits misrepresentation and requires that Twitter preserve a complete information-security program,” the letter says.
Commenting final week on the developments, the FTC mentioned “No CEO or firm is above the legislation, and firms should comply with our consent decrees. Our revised consent order provides us new instruments to make sure compliance, and we’re ready to make use of them.”
The company wouldn’t say whether or not it’s investigating Twitter for potential violations. If it have been, it’s empowered to demand paperwork and depose workers.
FTC officers declined to touch upon the senators’ request Thursday.
After the FTC’s warning got here to mild final week, Musk mentioned “Twitter will do no matter it takes to stick to each the letter and spirit of the FTC consent decree.”
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