EMusk stated that the latest accusations made by a whistleblower at Twitter Inc. are a reason for ending the $44 billion acquisition of the social media site.
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Peiter Zatko, Twitter’s ex-head of security, claimed he raised questions about severe shortcomings in the social media company’s handling of users’ personal data, including running out-of-date software and that executives had withheld information about breaches and lack of protections for user data.
In a filing on Tuesday, lawyers on behalf of Musk said the allegations by Zatko, including “egregious deficiencies” in the platform’s defenses against hackers and privacy issues, meant that Twitter had breached the conditions in the merger agreement.
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Twitter shares fell 1.3% in premarket trading on Tuesday before New York exchanges opened, to $39.50, far below Musk’s offer price of $54.20.
Musk has been attempting for months to try and extract himself from the takeover of Twitter, initially leading with the claim that Twitter’s user figures are inflated by millions of robot accounts. The billionaire’s legal team has recently switched its attention to Zatko, who was fired from Twitter earlier this year.
Lawyers for both Musk and Twitter have subpoenaed Zatko, who said the social-media platform’s officials didn’t know or care to find out how many accounts were spam or robot accounts.
Twitter sued Musk to stop him from completing his planned acquisition. Twitter has stated that bots and spam make up less than 5%. More than 100 individuals, financial institutions, and other businesses have been subpoenaed to the Delaware suit. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 17.
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A Twitter spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has previously called Zatko’s complaint “a false narrative about Twitter and our privacy and data security practices that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context.”
The new findings add to Musk’s claims, according to the letter published Tuesday, showing that Twitter is in “material noncompliance” with obligations around data privacy and consumer protection laws and that the company is vulnerable to data center failures and malicious actors.
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