Twitter Accuses Microsoft of Improperly Using Its Data

Twitter on Thursday despatched a letter to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief govt, accusing the tech large of improperly utilizing the social media firm’s information.

In the letter, which was reviewed by The New York Times, Twitter mentioned Microsoft had violated an settlement over its information and had declined to pay for that utilization. In some instances, the letter mentioned, Microsoft had used extra Twitter information than it was alleged to. Microsoft additionally shared the Twitter information with authorities businesses with out permission, the letter mentioned.

“Microsoft could have been in violation of a number of provisions of the settlement for an prolonged interval of time,” Alex Spiro, the non-public lawyer for Elon Musk, who owns Twitter, wrote within the letter to Mr. Nadella.

The letter could also be a prelude to Twitter attempting to cost Microsoft for its information. Mr. Musk, who purchased Twitter final 12 months for $44 billion, has mentioned that it’s pressing for the corporate to make cash and that it’s close to chapter. Twitter has since launched new subscription merchandise and made different strikes to achieve extra income. In March, the corporate mentioned it will cost extra for builders to achieve entry to its stream of tweets.

Last month, Mr. Musk publicly referred to as out Microsoft for “illegally” utilizing Twitter’s information to coach its synthetic intelligence applied sciences. “Lawsuit time,” he tweeted on the time.

Microsoft mentioned it didn’t presently pay Twitter for its information. Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesperson, mentioned the corporate had obtained Twitter’s letter and would evaluation the questions and reply. “We stay up for persevering with our long-term partnership with the corporate,” he mentioned.

Mr. Musk didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Mr. Musk and Microsoft have had a bumpy relationship just lately. Among different issues, Mr. Musk has feuded with Microsoft over OpenAI, the start-up behind the ChatGPT chatbot. Mr. Musk, who helped discovered OpenAI in 2015, has mentioned Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI, controls the start-up’s enterprise selections. Microsoft has disputed that characterization.

Last month, Microsoft additionally mentioned it will not pay for entry to Twitter’s information and informed prospects of its promoting platform that it will take away Twitter from the platform. Advertisers use Microsoft’s advert platform to handle their social media accounts, together with Twitter.

In current months, Twitter and different organizations have additionally began to complain that the most recent wave of AI applied sciences have been constructed utilizing their digital information. Reddit mentioned final month that it will begin charging for entry to its utility programming interface, or API, in order that its information couldn’t be used free of charge.

Microsoft’s Bing chatbot and OpenAI’s ChatGPT are constructed from what are referred to as giant language fashions, or LLMs, which construct their abilities by analyzing huge quantities of information culled from throughout the web.

In December, Mr. Musk minimize off OpenAI from Twitter’s information. OpenAI had paid $2 million a 12 months for entry to the info, however Mr. Musk believed the quantity was not sufficient to pretty compensate Twitter.

The letter to Mr. Nadella doesn’t specify if Twitter will take authorized motion towards Microsoft or ask for monetary compensation. It calls for that Microsoft abide by Twitter’s developer settlement and study the info use of eight of its apps.

Twitter additionally mentioned Microsoft should submit a report by June on how a lot Twitter information the corporate possesses, how that information was saved and used, and when government-related organizations gained entry to that information. Twitter’s guidelines prohibit the use of its information by authorities businesses, until the corporate is knowledgeable about it first.

The letter provides that Twitter’s information was utilized in Xbox, Microsoft’s gaming system; Bing, its search engine; and several other different instruments for promoting and cloud computing.

Twitter imposes limits on how a lot of its information can be utilized, saying that entry can not exceed a “affordable” quantity. But Microsoft used Twitter’s information portal “over 780 million instances and retrieved over 26 billion tweets in 2022 alone,” the letter mentioned.

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