According to legal experts, Twitter may have already broken its consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission after only two weeks under Elon Musk’s control.
Musk now faces more dangers as he wriggles through a maze of business and content moderation issues, most of which have been self-inflicted. If a violation is established, it may ultimately result in considerable personal liabilities for Musk.
The potential infraction is brought on by a need that Twitter meets whenever its organizational structure changes, including through mergers and transactions.
Following the most recent FTC consent decree, which went into effect this year, Twitter must provide the regulator with a sworn compliance notice within 14 days of such modification. According to David Vladeck, a former senior FTC officer and law professor at Georgetown University, the compliance letter is meant to inform the FTC of significant corporate changes and pledge to continue to abide by the order.
In light of the company’s massive layoffs and the departure of senior executives, some legal experts questioned whether Twitter had made the required filings after Musk’s Twitter transaction closed on Thursday, Oct. 27. The company’s chief privacy officer and chief information security officer, who would be responsible for the company’s compliance reporting, were among those who left.
Researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory Riana Pfefferkorn tweeted, “Godspeed to the poor b***ards coping with that.”
Regarding whether Twitter has filed compliance letters since Musk took over the firm, the FTC declined to comment. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Twitter, which recently let go of a sizable portion of its PR crew.
We are in continuous communication with the FTC and will work closely with the agency to ensure we comply, said Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney, to CNN on Thursday.
Other, more significant regulatory requirements have also been called into question. Included are demands that Twitter creates formal privacy evaluations of any “product, service, or practice” (or whenever Twitter alters those things) that might impact or put user data at risk.