Security, Compliance Executives Quit Twitter

FTC warns company, which risks violating consent decree
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2022 4:50 PM CST
FTC Warns Twitter After Security, Privacy Executives Resign
Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Federal regulators expressed alarm Thursday after several privacy and security executives resigned from Twitter. Those leaving include the chief information security officer, chief privacy officer, and chief compliance officer, the Washington Post reports. The news was met with a warning from the Federal Trade Commission, which said it could take action to ensure Twitter was complying with a consent order that mandates Twitter meet privacy and security requirements, an agreement enacted after previous accusations of data misuse. "No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees," said Douglas Farrar of the FTC. "Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them."

A staff member who remained said other privacy and security employees had quit, as well. Their new boss, Elon Musk, had emailed all employees Wednesday night that hard times are ahead, which "will require intense work to succeed." Marianne Fogarty, the departing compliance chief, had tweeted Monday: "I don't watch Game of Thrones. I certainly don’t want to play it at work," per NBC News. After the resignations, employees on the company's Slack channels also said the departures could prompt moves by the FTC.

Twitter agreed to designate people responsible for security and privacy, and a senior manager to attest that the company is in compliance. Those people might be gone now. "There's a lot of peril for the company if it doesn't have continuity," a former FTC official said. Another former agency official said any fine this time would be much higher than the $150 million the FTC levied in May against Twitter for breaking the agreement. "You have to add a decimal point to that," he said. (More Twitter stories.)

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