Markey says allegations are “alarming,” suggest Twitter has again violated its 2011 consent decree with the FTC

Washington (August 23, 2022) ­– Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, sent letters to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) urging them to act in response to whistleblower allegations that Twitter has misled investors, users, and federal regulators regarding the social media platform’s serious and unresolved security risks. According to new reporting from the Washington Post, the platform’s former head of security Peiter Zatko alleges the company failed to implement adequate security practices and left users’ data vulnerable.

“According to Peiter Zatko, Twitter’s former head of security, Twitter has systematically and repeatedly failed to take basic security measures to protect its user data and has misled investors, regulators, and the public about the strength of its security systems,” said Senator Markey. “These alarming allegations suggest that Twitter has again flagrantly violated its 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission.”

These allegations come just months after Twitter agreed in May to pay $150 million to settle allegations by DOJ and FTC that the company violated the 2011 FTC settlement by utilizing its users’ telephone numbers and email addresses for marketing, after telling users that Twitter would only use that personal information for security purposes.

“Unsurprisingly, then, Twitter has continued to suffer embarrassing security incidents and face ongoing scrutiny for misleading users and regulators,” Senator Markey continued. “This blithe disregard for user data and FTC settlements cannot stand. I strongly urge the federal government to investigate Zatko’s claims and, if necessary, take strong and swift action against Twitter to ensure Twitter user data is properly protected.”

Read a copy of the letter HERE.