Twitter accuses Microsoft of misusing Twitter API and data

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Twitter has sent a letter to Microsoft accusing the latter of using the Twitter API for an extended period of time. Microsoft is said to have misused the data obtained, among other things.

The letter was sent on behalf of Twitter by Alex Spiro, Elon Musk’s personal attorney. The New York Times has the letter in its own words, and a spokesperson for Microsoft confirms to the newspaper when asked that the company has received the letter. Among other things, Twitter accuses Microsoft of using more data than allowed and that the company then shared that data with government authorities without notifying the social media platform.

Until recently, Microsoft would have run eight ‘Twitter API applications’ for a total of five products and services, including Ads, Bing and Xbox. In April, Microsoft pulled the Twitter integration from its advertising tool and the Xbox consoles. Due to the latter, it was no longer possible to upload screenshots and gameplay fragments from an Xbox console to Twitter. An official reason has not been given for this, but it was suspected that this had to do with companies having to pay for access to the API since the end of March.

Twitter claims that for six of the eight applications, Microsoft did not disclose which applications the company had for the API. This while, according to the agreement, Twitter had to first grant approval for each intended application. That’s why Spiro wants Microsoft to disclose before June 7 how much Twitter data it owns and how it is stored and used for each of the eight use cases.

It doesn’t say what happens if Microsoft declines, but the letter does state that both companies have agreed in the agreement that Microsoft will “fully cooperate” with such compliance checks. There is also no mention of any legal action or a demanded financial compensation.

The Microsoft spokesperson says to various sources, including The Verge, that the company will review the questions and provide an ‘appropriate’ response. “We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with the company.” Microsoft also confirms that it is not currently paying for the API.

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