Ex-security chief says Twitter hid loopholes in personal data protection

NEW YORK – Twitter misled users and federal regulators over glaring weaknesses in its ability to protect personal data, the platform’s former security chief claims in testimony from a whistleblower who may have an impact on the company’s bitter legal battle over Elon Musk’s takeover bid.

In a complaint filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and published in part today by The Washington Post and CNN, Peiter Zatko also accuses Twitter of significantly underestimating the number of automated bots on the platform. form — a key part of Musk’s argument to withdraw his $44 billion takeover deal.

CNN cites Zatko’s disclosure as accusing Twitter of “negligence, willful ignorance, and threats to national security and democracy.”

Zatko, whom Twitter says it fired earlier this year for poor performance, warns of outdated servers, software vulnerable to cyberattacks and executives seeking to hide the number of hacking attempts from both US and government officials. company board of directors.

The hacker-turned-executive, who goes by the nickname “Mudge,” also says Twitter prioritizes growing its user base over fighting spam and bots, according to reports.

He notably accuses, according to The Washington Post, the boss of the Parag Agrawal platform of “lying” in a tweet in May.

In the tweet, Agrawal says that Twitter is “strongly encouraged to detect and remove as much spam as possible.”

Twitter dismissed the allegations.

A company spokesman told AFP that Zatko was fired in January this year for “ineffective management and poor performance”.

“What we have seen so far is a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The “opportunistic timing” of the allegations appears “designed to capture attention and inflict harm on Twitter, its customers and its shareholders,” the statement continued.

“Security and privacy have long been company-wide priorities at Twitter and will continue to be.”

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