EU Watchdog Probes Twitter for Information Breach

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission is looking into Twitter after a 5.4 million user data breach.

The commission released a statements Friday (Dec. 23) that it is probing the social media platform after receiving reports of a massive 2021 data leak that exposed user data for 5.4 million global Twitter users.

“One or more collated datasets of Twitter user personal data had been made available on the internet,” the statement said. “The datasets were reported to map Twitter IDs to email addresses and/or telephone numbers of the associated data subjects.”

The commission contacted representatives at Twitter on the data breach, and the commission found that possibly one or more provisions of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation may have been infringed by the leak.

Data regulators are stepping up their response to user data breaches on social media platforms.

Most recently, the Dutch government has taken issue with the social media platform Facebook over its data privacy practices.

The country’s Parliament stated on Dec 1 that Meta does not adequately process users’ personal data visiting Dutch government Facebook pages to comply with privacy laws.

“If the risks are insufficiently eliminated, there is no other option than to stop using government Facebook pages,” officials noted.

Twitter has also come under public scrutiny more since Elon Musk became the CEO of the company on Oct. 31

Musk recently stated he has reportedly begun looking for someone to succeed him as Twitter CEO after a poll he conducted on his account resulted in the public voting in favor of him stepping down from the position.

Twitter did not immediately respond to PYMNTS’ emailed request for comment on the Data Protection Commission probe.

Although this user data breach occurred a year before Musk took over the company, the Ireland-based regulator’s probe into Twitter’s security measures cannot be understated.

Musk has let many key members of the Twitter security and compliance departments go over the past few months, so a major EU probe into the company’s data security practices could result in an overhaul of the social media platform’s practices to avoid being fined.

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