Twitter whistleblower testifies before Senate committee

One of Zatko’s main allegations against Twitter is that it does not reliably delete the data of users who have canceled their accounts.

To expand on that claim, Zatko told lawmakers on Tuesday that the company’s chief privacy officer had come to him acknowledging that Twitter had intentionally misled regulators who asked about Twitter’s deletion practices.

“The chief privacy officer told me that the . file [Federal Trade Commission] Zatko said, “He came and asked me, does Twitter delete user information?

Twitter allegedly told regulators it was deactivating user accounts but was off the hook on whether it was completely deleting data. In response to questions from CNN, Twitter previously said it has workflows to “initiate the deletion process” but did not say if it normally completes this process.

Asked by Senator Mazzi Hirono if Twitter had the ability to appropriately delete user data, Zatko said it would be possible if Twitter had better control over its data, but does not, in a “fundamental root problem” for the company.

“They need to know what data they have, where it is, why they got it, and who is associated with it,” Zatko said. “At this point, they will be able to delete.”

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