“We are tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern. No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees. Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them,” The Hill quoted an FTC spokesperson as saying.
The development comes a few hours after a company lawyer, in a message in Twitter’s Slack, warned that Musk is putting the social media platform at risk of “billions of dollars” in fines due to the way changes are being handled at the company.
“…FTC can (and will!) fine Twitter BILLIONS of dollars pursuant to the FTC Consent Order, extremely detrimental to Twitter’s longevity as a platform. Our users deserve so much better than this,” the lawyer highlighted.
It is to be noted that in 2011, Twitter agreed to a 20-year FTC consent order over its data security practices. In May this year, the company was fined $150 million for violating the 2011 order.
The Twitter lawyer was speaking at Musk’s decision to ban remote work “unless he personally approved it” and clocking in a minimum of 40 hours a week. He also told employees that Twitter’s chief privacy officer Damien Kieran, chief information security officer Lea Kissner, and chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty have all resigned.
“This news will be buried in the return-to-office drama. I believe that is intentional,” the lawyer noted.
The lawyer also highlighted that he/she heard the current head of Legal Alex Spiro say that “Elon is willing to take on a huge amount of risk in relation to this company and its users, because ‘Elon puts rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC.’”
“I have heard another leader in the Legal department say that because of the tight SLA’s (of two weeks?!) between product inception > launch, Legal will “have to shift the burden to engineers” to self-certify compliance with FTC requirements and other laws. This will put [a] huge amount of personal, professional and legal risk onto engineers,” the lawyer wrote in the message.
Elon ‘cares only about recouping losses’
The lawyer also attacked Musk by saying that it is due to his failure to get out of his binding obligation to buy Twitter that the employees “are being put through this as a result of the choices he made.”
“Elon has shown that his only priority with Twitter users is how to monetise them. I do not believe he cares about human rights activists. the dissidents, our users in un-monetisable regions, and all the other users who have made Twitter the global town square you have all spent so long building, and we all love,” the lawyer’s post added.