Twitter Accuses Microsoft of Improperly Using Its Data

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

In the letter, which was reviewed by The New York Times, Twitter stated Microsoft had violated an settlement over its knowledge and had declined to pay for that utilization. In some circumstances, the letter stated, Microsoft had used extra Twitter knowledge than it was presupposed to. Microsoft additionally shared the Twitter knowledge with authorities companies with out permission, the letter stated.

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

The letter could also be a prelude to Twitter making an attempt to cost Microsoft for its knowledge. Mr. Musk, who purchased Twitter final 12 months for $44 billion, has stated that it’s pressing for the corporate to earn money 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 stated it will cost extra for builders to achieve entry to its stream of tweets.

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

Microsoft stated it didn’t presently pay Twitter for its knowledge. Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, stated the corporate had acquired Twitter’s letter and would overview the questions and reply. “We stay up for persevering with our long-term partnership with the corporate,” he stated.

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 stated Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI, controls the start-up’s enterprise selections. Microsoft has disputed that characterization.

Last month, Microsoft additionally stated it will not pay for entry to Twitter’s knowledge and advised 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 knowledge. Reddit stated final month that it will begin charging for entry to its utility programming interface, or API, in order that its knowledge couldn’t be used without spending a dime.

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

In December, Mr. Musk lower off OpenAI from Twitter’s knowledge. 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 stated Microsoft should submit a report by June on how a lot Twitter knowledge the corporate possesses, how that knowledge was saved and used, and when government-related organizations gained entry to that knowledge. Twitter’s guidelines prohibit the use of its knowledge by authorities companies, except the corporate is knowledgeable about it first.

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

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

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