Microsoft CEO receives letter from Elon Musk’s lawyer regarding Twitter’s data access abuse

Pranav Bhardwaj

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In a recent development, it has come to light that Microsoft has received a letter from Elon Musk’s personal lawyer, Alex Spiro, accusing the company of violating Twitter’s developer agreement. The letter, sent on behalf of Twitter, alleges that Microsoft has been in violation of “multiple provisions” of the agreement for an extended period of time.

The New York Times was the first to report this news, stating that Microsoft has been found to be in violation of several provisions of Twitter’s developer agreement. According to the accusations, Microsoft has been using Twitter’s data APIs in eight of its applications, including Bing, Xbox One, Azure, and Power Platform, without the appropriate permissions. It is worth noting that permissions were reportedly sought only for two of these applications. Microsoft ceased using the APIs in April of this year, following Twitter’s change in terms of use, allowing developers to pay for data content.

The letter from Elon Musk’s lawyer specifically points out “unauthorized uses and purposes” by Microsoft and highlights that the company failed to inform Twitter about the use cases for six of the eight Microsoft Apps, which were operational until last month. The developer agreement mandates that Microsoft should disclose and obtain approval for its intended use cases for each application and notify Twitter of any significant modifications to those use cases. However, Microsoft allegedly did not identify any use cases for six of its applications.

In addition to outlining the violations, the letter includes a specific demand. It calls for a comprehensive “compliance audit” of all the Microsoft apps that utilized Twitter’s data until the support was discontinued. Microsoft has been given until June 7th to comply with this demand, failing which legal action may be pursued by Elon Musk.

Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw responded to the accusations, stating that the company had received a letter from a law firm representing Twitter regarding their previous use of the free Twitter API. Shaw assured that Microsoft would review the questions raised in the letter and respond appropriately. He also expressed the company’s commitment to maintaining its long-term partnership with Twitter.

This incident occurred at a time when Twitter is actively exploring various monetization options following its acquisition by Elon Musk. The recent adjustment of Twitter’s terms of use, particularly in relation to developers paying for data content, could potentially lead to increased profitability for the social media giant in the future.

Recently, there have been disagreements between Musk and Nadella about Microsoft’s role in OpenAI. Musk criticized Microsoft in an interview for their collaboration with OpenAI, a chatbot creator that he co-founded. He believes that Microsoft has gained too much control over OpenAI, turning it into a profit-driven company. In response to that, Nadella said that Musk’s claims are factually incorrect.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how Microsoft will respond to the allegations and whether the demand for a compliance audit will be met. Both companies have a vested interest in resolving this dispute and maintaining their respective partnerships, but the potential for legal action adds an element of uncertainty to the outcome.

Via: Business Insider