Elon Musk’s personal lawyer, Alex Spiro, has reportedly sent Microsoft a letter accusing it of using the Twitter API “for unauthorized use and purposes.” According to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Spiro wrote that “Microsoft may have violated many provisions of the agreement over a long period of time.” In particular, it accused Microsoft of improperly using Twitter data, such as using more than necessary and sharing data with government agencies without permission. Spiro also wrote that Microsoft refused to pay for the use of its data.
Microsoft has used Twitter data through its API for years in many products, including those related to Xbox, Bing and its advertising tools. However, after Twitter ended free access to its API, Microsoft decided to start distancing itself from the website. It removed Twitter from its social media management tool for advertisers, and it also turned off the option to upload screenshots and clips directly to Twitter from Xbox consoles and the Game Bar on Windows. The tech giant did not explain the reasoning behind the decisions, but Twitter is charging organizations up to $50,000 per month to access the new API.
In response to a tweet about Microsoft dropping Twitter from its social media management tool, Elon Musk SAYS: “They’re practicing illegal use of Twitter data. Time to sue.” It’s also worth noting that Musk and Microsoft have had a bumpy relationship lately, with the former claiming that the tech giant is controlling its partner OpenAI. Microsoft, which invested a total of $13 billion in the creator of ChatGPT, said the claim was “factually incorrect.” Musk also said Fox News that he is concerned that ChatGPT is “trained to be politically correct” and that he is looking to create his own generative AI chatbot called “TruthGPT.” He too Denounced OpenAI, which he helped start as a non-profit in 2015, is about to become a for-profit business.
It is unclear whether this incident will lead to a lawsuit, but Twitter has requested that Microsoft investigate the data usage of its apps. Twitter also wants Microsoft to submit a report in June on how much of its data the company has and how it is stored and used. Additionally, it wants to know when Microsoft has given government organizations access to its data.
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