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FTC worried about Musk’s firings

by on08 March 2023

Worried he might not have enough staff left to protected data

Supreme Twit Elon [Look at me] Musk’s HR policy, which appears to involve firing everyone he sees, has fallen foul of the FTC.

While the FTC does not care much about US corporates firing people, it gets interested when the company does not have enough staff to fulfil some important commitments.

In this case, Twitter promised the FTC to bring in strict new protections to secure users’ information. Musk’s latest firings include those who might be responsible for customer data, and the FTC wants Twitter to turn over internal communications related to Musk. Those emails paint a picture of concern regarding Twitter’s ability to comply with a $150 million settlement the company made with the federal agency last May.

“We are concerned these staff reductions impact Twitter’s ability to protect consumers’ information,” a representative from the FTC said in one of the letters sent last November.

The letters have been obtained by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, which published some of them in the vague hope of showing up the federal agency’s investigation.

The Republicans claim to be concerned that the FTC has overstepped its bounds and that the agency is casting too wide a net regarding its demands of Twitter and Musk.

“There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter. There is no logical reason why the FTC, based on user privacy, needs to analyse all of Twitter’s personnel decisions. And there is no logical reason why the FTC needs every internal Twitter communication about Elon Musk.”

The committee is apparently concerned that FTC’s wants Twitter “identify all journalists” that were given access to internal company documents. The Journalist was Matt Taibbi who was given access to what has been dubbed the “Twitter files” by Musk. The Twitter files show the company wondering how it was going to handle right-wing conspiracy stories. Musk wanted Taibbi's story to prove that there was a "liberal bias" at Twitter before he came in and saved the company for the right.

However, the FTC made a deal with the earlier Twitter managers to keep this sort of data secret. So it wanted to know The “nature of the access granted” to each reporter and questioned how giving out access to that data was “consistent with twitter’s privacy and information security obligations.

So if you are wondering about the staffing issue, so are we. It does appear to us that the FTC has written to Twitter worried about the staffing cuts and why Musk is playing fast and lose with company data giving it to journalists. Musk might have mentioned the problem to his Republican chums who are always keen to talk about Hunter Biden’s laptop and democratic election rigging and slag off a Democrat-run FTC.


Last modified on 08 March 2023
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