Elon Musk’s Lawyer Sends Letter to Microsoft on Twitter Data Misuse

Elon Musk’s personal lawyer has sent a letter to Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, accusing the tech giant of violating Twitter’s developer agreement for an extended period of time.

Musk’s personal lawyer Alex Spiro said in the letter sent on behalf of Twitter that their recent review of the tech giant’s activity on the Microsoft Apps indicates that “Microsoft may have been in violation of multiple provisions of the Agreement for an extended period of time”.

Microsoft integrated eight separate Twitter APIs with its products like Xbox, Bing search, and its ads platform.

By registering and using these eight Twitter API apps (collectively, the Microsoft Apps), the company agreed to comply with Twitter’s Developer Agreement and Policy.

Microsoft Apps accessed Twitter’s APIs over 780 million times and retrieved over 26 billion tweets in 2022 alone, according to the letter.

“Indeed, for one of the Microsoft Apps, Microsoft’s account information outright states that it intends to allow its customers to “go around throttling limits,” the letter stated.

Outgoing Twitter CEO last month threatened to sue Microsoft over claims that the company “trained illegally using Twitter data”.

Musk reacted after Microsoft dropped Twitter from its advertising platform as it allegedly refused to pay Twitter’s application programming interface (API) fees.

“They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” said Musk in a tweet.

The Spiro letter to Nadella, however, does not say anything about taking legal action.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that they heard from a law firm representing Twitter with some questions about “our previous use of the free Twitter API”.

The recipient will carefully examine the questions and provide suitable responses. The intention is to address the inquiries in a thorough and appropriate manner. Additionally, the spokesperson expresses anticipation for the continuation of the long-term partnership with the company.

This implies a positive sentiment and a desire to maintain the collaborative relationship between the two parties, emphasizing the importance of sustaining their ongoing partnership.

The Spiro letter highlights that the terms of the Agreement mandate Microsoft to offer its “full cooperation and assistance” concerning the compliance audit in question. This implies that Microsoft is obligated to provide comprehensive support and aid to facilitate the smooth conduct of the audit.

The term “full cooperation and assistance” emphasizes the extent of Microsoft’s responsibility in actively engaging and collaborating with the auditors to ensure compliance with the terms of the Agreement.

Anticipation of immediate and complete cooperation from the recipient. The request specifies the need for Microsoft to furnish the required information by a specific date, preferably before June 7, 2023. The phrase “prompt and full cooperation” indicates the expectation of a timely and comprehensive response.

By providing a clear deadline, the sender seeks to ensure that Microsoft understands the urgency and importance of the matter at hand, emphasizing the need for a timely resolution.

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