(Reuters) — The lead privacy regulator for Twitter in the European Union said it was concerned about the potential impact of layoffs at the social media company on its ability to meet privacy requirements, but said it had so far received answers to its questions.
Twitter has fired top executives and forced deep cuts with little warning after billionaire Elon Musk’s tumultuous takeover of the company last month. About half of the workforce — about 3,700 employees — have been laid off, while more than 1,000 have resigned.
Before the cuts, Twitter employed around 500 people at its European headquarters in Dublin where – like many other tech giants – Ireland’s Data Privacy Commissioner is the social media platform̵7;s main EU privacy regulator.
“We are concerned and we are following it very closely. So far we have had our questions answered,” DPC chief Helen Dixon told Irish national broadcaster RTE on Monday.
The comments follow similar concerns raised last week by the EU’s chief justice about Twitter’s ability to comply with tough new rules on illegal online content following a visit to the company’s headquarters in Dublin.
Dixon said the DPC was in contact with Twitter several times a day to determine what roles remained and that they had “a range of contacts” still based on Twitter in Dublin.
“It’s a rapidly evolving situation, I think when we get to a point where we can’t get answers and we don’t have a point of contact, then we’re going to have very serious difficulties,” Dixon said.
At a basic level, an organization like Twitter needs to have a data protection officer in place with a team around him, as well as a board based in Dublin that makes decisions about personal data processing in respect of EU users, she added.
The watchdog said it had also been able to continue six investigations into Twitter related to potential privacy breaches that preceded Mr. Musk’s acquisition.
The DPC, which regulates Apple, Google, Meta and other tech giants because of the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland, has 40 inquiries open about big tech companies.