Senior members of Twitter’s privacy and security teams walk out after warning about Elon Musk

Senior members of Twitter’s privacy and security teams have walked out of the company, according to an internal letter from the company’s attorney obtained by ABC News warning of employment contract violations and legal ramifications if new owner Elon Musk does not comply with the FTC agreement.

According to the letter, among the employees who left were Chief Privacy Officer Damian Keran, Chief Compliance Officer Marian Fogarty, and Chief Information Officer Leah Kessner. Kisner confirmed his resignation in a tweet earlier this morning. None of them responded to ABC’s request for comment.

The message was posted to Slack on Twitter by an attorney from Twitter’s privacy team and can be seen by all employees. “Over the past two weeks, Elon has demonstrated that he is only interested in making up for the losses he has incurred as a result of failing to exit his binding obligation to purchase Twitter,” the attorney wrote to fellow employees. The Verge first reported the attorney’s letter.

The Twitter attorney’s message comes after Musk announced that he will require employees to be in the office 40 hours a week, eliminating remote work. The attorney believes this is a “fundamental change to our employment contracts,” they wrote to the Slack group of more than 2,000 members. “I don’t personally believe Twitter employees are obligated to return to the office. Certainly not without notice,” the lawyer wrote.

In this file photo taken October 28, 2022, the Twitter tag is shown at their San Francisco headquarters.

Constanza Hevea/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

“He has chosen to enter into this agreement,” Twitter’s attorney added regarding Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. “We’ve all experienced this as a result of the choices he made.”

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Twitter’s lawyer reminded co-workers that they still have an unlimited number of PTOs. “Maybe today is a good day to take a break and recharge,” they wrote.

This member of Twitter’s senior advisor went on to describe Musk’s apparent disregard for any potential legal ramifications that might emerge in the near future.

In the letter, the attorney brought up the FTC settlement that Twitter agreed to in May; The company was caught using phone numbers and emails for targeted ads, even though they were only supposed to be used for multifactor authentication registrations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined the company $150 million and provided Twitter with a list of new compliance rules.

If the company refuses to comply with the FTC agreement, Twitter could be fined billions of dollars, according to a letter from the company’s attorney Slack.

But the attorney claims in the letter that they overheard Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney and current head of Twitter’s legal department, say, “Elon is willing to take a great deal of risk with respect to this company and its users, because Elon is putting rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC.” “.

Twitter’s legal team is asking engineers to “self-certify” that they comply with FTC rules and other privacy laws, according to a letter from the company’s attorney. “This would place an enormous amount of personal, professional, and legal risk on engineers,” they wrote. “I expect you will all be pressured by management to push for changes that are likely to lead to major accidents.”

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A spokesperson for the FTC told ABC News, “We are following recent developments at Twitter with deep concern. No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our approval decisions. Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are ready to use them.” .

The Twitter attorney left Ethic’s Ethic helpline number and a link to https://whistlebloweraid.org/ at the end of the email.

“It is a great honor to work with all of you,” they wrote. “I’m taking a day off from the PTO today.”

Twitter did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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