In court Thursday, X’s lawyer, Daniel Koffman, said there had been “unusual and alarming conduct by a government agency.” At the heart of these allegations is the claim that the FTC pressured Ernst & Young, the auditor responsible for overseeing compliance, to conclude that the company had engaged in misconduct.
Yet in his ruling, Hixson said his order approving the settlement was separate from Administrative Agreement X with the FTC, a matter over which he had no authority. Hixson said his oversight was limited to enforcing a $150 million fine and the FTC’s cooperation with the Justice Department in the investigation.
An FTC spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for X did not immediately respond for comment.
Twitter has had a consent decree with the FTC since 2011 to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities that led to data breaches in 2009. The order imposes strict requirements on the company, including mandatory independent audits of its practices in matters of confidentiality and security. The order was renewed last year due to violations of the previous 2011 order.
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