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Twitter has sent a letter to Microsoft claiming it used data without paying for it

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Twitter has sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella complaining that Microsoft has been improperly using Twitter data, according to The New York Times which saw the letter. Twitter has accused Microsoft of not paying to use data, using data more than had been agreed, and sharing the data with government agencies without Twitter’s permission - this could be concerning if authoritarian governments were the recipients.

Microsoft spokesman, Frank Shaw, told NYT that Microsoft doesn’t pay Twitter for its data. He said the company will review the letter from Twitter and respond accordingly. Perhaps reassuringly, Shaw said that Microsoft looks forward to continuing its long-term partnership with Twitter.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, said that the platform was like a plane that was on fire about to crash, financially speaking. In an effort to stop losing money hand-over-fist, Musk quickly fired about half of the employees at the company. He now admits it was very hasty but that decision had to be taken quickly. He said the company could probably do with getting some of those people back if they’re not too annoyed, he said.

With the big splash ChatGPT and other generative AI services have made, platforms like Twitter and Reddit have said they want compensation for their data being used to train the bots. Musk has said that Microsoft essentially runs OpenAI now, or at least has significant power over the company. OpenAI’s ChatGPT powers Microsoft’s Bing Chat. Given Microsoft's involvement and the huge amount of money it has, this could explain why Musk is going after Microsoft for payment for the training data.

The letter doesn’t say if Twitter will take legal action or how much financial compensation it has demanded but says that Microsoft uses Twitter data in several of its products including Xbox, Bing, advertising, and cloud computing. It wants Microsoft to submit a report by next month about how much Twitter data it uses and which governments have gained access to the data. It also told Microsoft to abide by the Twitter developer agreement in its handling of the data.

Source: The New York Times

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