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Twitter says it is working on completing sales to Elon Musk; pays $150 million fine for deceptive targeted advertising

While it appears Twitter is becoming one of the most difficult companies to acquire, Twitter executives have given assurances that the deal with Elon Musk is still on.

During Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting, Twitter executives confirmed that the sale of the social media network to billionaire Elon Musk is still in progress. This information was necessary in the light of the recent stalling of proceedings, with Musk demanding a more accurate figure of fake and bot accounts on the platform.

Even though there were many questions about what the future holds for the company, Twitter executives could not give much information on the progress. Musk, the incoming majority shareholder, was not in attendance. However, Twitter had already said ahead of the meeting that it wouldn’t entertain any questions about the impending buyout. The sale would be put to a shareholder vote for approval at a later date.

The CEO, Parag Agrawal, assured that his team was still focusing on their day-to-day job running the platform while they tried to close the deal.

Other questions raised at the shareholder meeting include what content moderation on Twitter would look like in the future. But Agrawal said Twitter is focused on implementing its existing policies and decreasing the level of reliance on user reports. He also said, “silencing political commentary is antithetical to our commitment to free speech,” without addressing Musk’s promise to relax Twitter rules when he takes over.

The shareholder meeting was also the end of Jack Dorsey’s time with Twitter. He will no longer be on the board after resigning as CEO last year.

Meanwhile, Twitter has paid a $150 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of deceptively using user data for targeted advertisement. The company admitted it had used phone numbers and email addresses obtained for two-factor authentication to serve personalized ads in 2019.

Twitter had earlier claimed the incident was an error, and it couldn’t determine how many users were affected. The FTC chair Lina Khan, however, said more than 140 million accounts were involved between 2014 and 2019. The act was against an existing agreement Twitter had with the FTC not to misrepresent its privacy and security practices.

Twitter’s Chief Privacy Officer, Damien Kieran, said the micro-blogging site has co-operated with the FTC in its investigations.

“This issue was addressed as of September 17, 2019, and today we want to reiterate the work we’ll continue to do to protect the privacy and security of the people who use Twitter,” Kieran wrote. “In reaching this settlement, we have paid a $150M USD penalty, and we have aligned with the agency on operational updates and program enhancements to ensure that people’s personal data remains secure and their privacy protected.”

Apart from the fine, Twitter is obligated to inform all users whose phone numbers and emails were harvested for targeted ads through the account security process. Twitter must also create a new “comprehensive privacy and information security program” that will scrutinize new products for potential privacy violations and risks.

Written by HackerVibes

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