Lea Kissner, Twitter's
Twitter was already on shaky ground pre-Elon Musk's takeover and now is even more so. It is not clear who (if anyone at all) has replaced Kissner as CISO. A current Twitter employee has (anonymously) shared that other members of the Company's privacy and security team have resigned, causing alarm for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Privacy team's main concern? The rapid rollout of new features without complete security reviews, which are required by the FTC.
The FTC is also responding, with its Director of Public Affairs, Douglas Farrar, issuing a statement that "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."
Why the rapid rollout of new features? Since becoming CEO end of last month, Elon Musk has already made sweeping changes, from mass layoffs to end of permanent work-from-home (with case-by-case exceptions) to creating a paid subscription service with Twitter Blue. In his words, "Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half our revenue to be subscriptions...Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!"
Many warn that without a robust privacy and security team, the Company is left highly exposed to regulatory risks. Twitter already has a history of regulatory misconduct, having been, most recently, fined $150 million for its user data collection practices. The company used user emails and phone numbers to for targeted advertising, considered a breach of privacy. The FTC is keeping close watch on Musk and Twitter, to say the least.
As we have seen, Elon Musk is not afraid to take significant risk, with a member of his legal team commenting that, "Elon puts rockets into space, he's not afraid of the FTC.'" His attitude and demeanor towards privacy concerns has been little less than flippant. Twitter's legal department is now tasking engineers to "self-certify" compliance with FC rules and regulations, bypassing review from (what is left of) the privacy and security team.
Musk has stated that he plans to establish a content moderation council made up of "representatives with widely divergent views, which will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence". As his main mode of communication is Twitter it is difficult to parse out what is stream of consciousness from actual plans for the company.