Senior US senator asks Musk to do risk assessment of Twitter over privacy threats

A top US Republican senator has asked Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk to conduct a threat assessment at the social media platform in order to better protect US user data.

Grassley, the top Republican on the US Judiciary Committee, has urged Twitter to do a risk assessments “of Twitter’s current security posture and systems to better protect user data and privacy”.

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In the letter to Musk dated Tuesday and made public on Wednesday, he further requested that the committee staff be informed of the results.

“Twitter collects vast amounts of data on American citizens. Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that their private data is secure, and that the companies which they have entrusted with their private data have not been infiltrated by foreign agents,” he said.

As per Reuters Republican Chuck Grassley, the senator for Iowa has made the request due to the concerns that were raised a few months back by whistleblower Peiter Zatko.

Concerns expressed in Grassley’s previous letter to Parag Agarwal, the former CEO of Twitter, are reiterated in the senator’s most recent letter. But according to reports, Agarwal chose not to address the issues at the time because of a $44 billion takeover lawsuit involving Elon Musk and Twitter.

In September, hacker Peiter “Mudge” Zatko who formerly served as the head of security for Twitter shared information about a Chinese threat. Zatko who was fired in January of this year disclosed that Twitter employess were concerned that the Chinese government would be able to collect data on the platform’s users.

The former Twitter employee testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and warned that, among other risks, “foreign agents” may use malware to seal user private information off of the network and use that to access sensitive data on the person’s phone.

(With inputs from agencies)

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