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When considering authentication providers, many organizations consider the ease of configuration, ubiquity of usage, and technical stability. Organizations cannot always be judged on those metrics alone. There is an increasing need to evaluate company ownership, policies and the stability, or instability, that it brings.

How Leadership Change Affects Stability

In recent months, a salient example is that of Twitter. The Twitter platform has been around since 2006 and is used by millions worldwide. With many users and a seemingly robust authentication system, organizations used Twitter as a primary or secondary authentication service.

Inconsistent leadership and policies mean the stability of a platform is subject to change, which is especially true with Twitter as of late. The ownership change to Elon Musk precipitated widespread changes to staffing and policies. Due to those changes, a large portion of staff was let go, but this included many individuals responsible for the technical stability of the platform.

This culminated in an outage of Twitter’s SMS two-factor authentication. With delayed or non-existent texts, many users could not log in to Twitter. This affected systems that relied on Twitter as their primary and secondary authentication provider.

Not limited to authentication issues, with the changes come a renewed concern over the safety and privacy of user data. Twitter has been under an FTC consent decree from past problems surrounding user data, and a good portion of the staff responsible for compliance has been let go. Even if the authentication provider stays up, it may leave an organization in an uncomfortable position regarding the state of their stored on Twitter’s servers.

images from Hacker News