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Twitter dips as security chief confirms plans to leave

Michael Coates has been with Twitter for three years but is leaving to set up his own company
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The Facebook-Cambridge Analytic has thrust data protection into the spotlight

Shares in Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) dipped in pre-market trading after the social media giant confirmed that its chief information security officer is to leave the company.

Michael Coates, who joined Twitter in 2015, oversaw the platform’s protection of data, but he is stepping down to start his own security company.

The departure of Coates, first reported by The Verge on Wednesday, comes at a time when social media companies are under pressure to safeguard the data of their millions of users.

Their efforts have been thrust into the spotlight by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which has come under fire in recent days after Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that worked on Donald Trump’s election campaign, was able to draw data from millions of American Facebook users.

Coates isn’t the only security in Silicon Valley to announce he is leaving. Facebook’s Alex Stamos is reportedly planning to depart later this summer, while Google’s director of information security Michal Zalewski is due to leave at the end of this month (March).

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