Big Tech AI War? Twitter Accuses Microsoft of Misusing Data

May 22nd, 2023 5:42 PM

A “Big Tech” war over user data protection seems to be on the horizon for Twitter and Microsoft.

Alex Spiro, an attorney on Elon Musk's legal team, sent a letter to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella last week accusing the Big Tech company of misusing Twitter’s data. Twitter claims that Microsoft wrongfully exploited the company’s unique programming tool that allows other tech giants to access Twitter’s data—known as API. The existence of the letter was first reported by The New York Times and The Verge subsequently obtained a copy. The Times noted that Musk “publicly called out Microsoft for 'illegally using Twitter’s data” to allegedly, as The Times characterized it, "train its artificial intelligence technologies.” 

Spiro claimed Microsoft operated eight different apps within Twitter’s API, but "may have been in violation of multiple provisions of the agreement for an extended period of time." He added that the app’s retrieval of over 26 billion tweets in 2022 could constitute "excessive or abusive usage.”

To determine the extent of the alleged abuse, Twitter is requesting an audit of Microsoft's API use, detailing the content the company obtained from Twitter and how it was used.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is taking a more cautious approach to Twitter’s allegations.

In a statement to Insider, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that it "heard from a law firm representing Twitter with some questions about our previous use of the free Twitter API."

"We will review these questions and respond appropriately," the statement added. "We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with the company."

Data ownership, privacy and copyright questions merely scratch the surface of the true dangers behind the recent explosion in AI technology. Columnist David Marcus recently wrote a piece detailing the legal issues AI will cause in entertainment, particularly in television shows and movies and writing. Will an the author own his their content outright simply because he created it? Or will AI programs and their creators also have ownership and usage rights to human authors’ content? Whose rights take precedence? Who will have access to the content?

Conservatives are under attack. Contact the U.S. Commerce Department and demand that Big Tech developers of artificial intelligence technologies mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. The official comment period on AI Accountability Policy Request for Comment ends 06/12/2023, but this is just the beginning of our fight to preserve American freedom.