Twitter Files: Elon Musk’s Twitter Leak Raises Concern Over External Access to User Data

Elon Musk is giving outdoors writers unprecedented entry to inner Twitter data, instructing the present head of belief and security to offer screenshots of customers’ accounts.

Screenshots displaying inner methods restricted to a comparatively small variety of folks answerable for moderating content material have been shared by journalist Bari Weiss on Thursday. The photographs carry a watermark — a translucent label — indicating they have been taken from the worker view of Twitter’s belief and security head, Ella Irwin.

The watermarked screenshots, taken since December 7, 2022, raised issues about whether or not Weiss had entry to Irwin’s inner account, which might additionally imply entry to delicate data like a consumer’s non-public messages, based on folks with data of Twitter’s methods.

Irwin later clarified that she took the screenshots herself to forestall such a situation. “For safety functions, the screenshots requested got here from me so we might guarantee no PII,” or personally identifiable data, “was uncovered,” Irwin stated on Twitter. “We didn’t give this entry to reporters and no, reporters weren’t accessing consumer DMs,” or direct messages.

The watermarks have been added to worker accounts after Twitter was hacked in 2020, the folks stated, a transfer meant to make it simpler for Twitter to know the place screenshots of inner methods have been coming from.

Weiss did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

The screenshots have been shared as a part of the “Twitter Recordsdata,” a group of inner paperwork and emails from former Twitter workers that Musk handed over to outdoors reporters who are actually publishing them.

Musk stated earlier this month that Weiss and one other author, Matt Taibbi, have unfettered entry to the Twitter Recordsdata. Folks with data of Twitter’s methods are involved that such broad entry might go away Twitter in violation of its 2022 privateness settlement with the Federal Commerce Fee.

“Looks like Weiss’ thread needs to be sufficient for the FTC to open an investigation right into a violation of the consent decree and maybe get a subpoena for Twitter’s inner entry logs,” tweeted Alex Stamos, who previously ran safety at Meta Platforms Inc. and is now on the Stanford Web Observatory.

A part of Twitter’s FTC settlement stipulates that worker entry to delicate consumer account knowledge is simply granted to folks with a sound enterprise justification for accessing stated knowledge. The executives who would have authorised that entry, or would have investigated its misuse, have left the corporate.

“The authors have broad and increasing entry to Twitter’s information,” Weiss tweeted Thursday. “The one situation we agreed to was that the fabric would first be revealed on Twitter.”

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