Twitter Accuses Microsoft, Inappropriate Use of Data   

Twitter alleges Microsoft misused its data. Twitter’s lawyer Alex Spiro wrote to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella saying Microsoft violated a data usage agreement. Spiro explicitly charged Microsoft:

  • Illegally downloading tweets.
  • Unauthorized sharing Twitter data with federal entities.
  • Twitter data for free AI training.

Elon Musk’s lawyer and Twitter owner Alex Spiro wrote to Mr. Nadella, “Microsoft may have been in violation of many aspects of the agreement for a lengthy period of time.”

Twitter may sue Microsoft for data with the letter. Mr. Musk, who promised Twitter $44 billion last year, said it must earn money immediately or go bankrupt. Twitter has introduced new membership products and pursued other revenue-generating measures. This spring, the company stated it would charge designers to get close to their tweet surge.

Mr. Musk accused Microsoft of “illegally” exploiting Twitter data to train its AI last month. Time to sue, he tweeted.

Microsoft calls the claims “baseless.”

“We have always complied with the terms of our agreement with Twitter and have never utilized Twitter data for any other purpose,” a Microsoft spokeswoman stated.

Microsoft and Mr. Musk are at odds. Mr. Musk has battled Microsoft for OpenAI, the ChatGPT chatbot maker. Microsoft, which spent $13 billion in OpenAI, controls its business choices, according to its creator, Mr. Musk. Microsoft disputes it. Last month, Microsoft warned advertising platform clients that it would delete Twitter and not pay for Twitter data. Microsoft’s ad platform manages advertisers’ Twitter accounts.

In recent months, Twitter and other companies have complained that the latest AI algorithms were created on their data. Last month, Reddit announced that it will charge for access to its application programming connection point (API) to prevent free use of its data.

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In December, Musk cut OpenAI off Twitter data. Mr. Musk believed Twitter was underpaid by OpenAI’s $2 million annual contribution.

Twitter’s letter to Mr. Nadella doesn’t mention suing Microsoft or seeking compensation. Microsoft must review eight of its applications’ data use and follow Twitter’s developer agreement.

Twitter also said Microsoft should disclose by June on how much Twitter data it possesses, how it was stored and used, and when government agencies accessed it. Government agencies must notify Twitter before using its data.

Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platform, Bing online engine, and other cloud computing and advertising technologies used Twitter’s data, according to the letter.

Twitter limits data access to a “reasonable” quantity. “Microsoft used Twitter’s information gateway more than 780 million times and retrieved north of 26 billion tweets in 2022 alone,” the letter added.

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