Apple is suing former employee who stole info about self-driving car

Jul

12

2018

Apple has filed a lawsuit against a former employee who, this spring, tried to steal information about Apple’s project to make a self-driving car. This concerns technical information about, among other things, a printed circuit board for the self-driving car.

The employee was on paternity leave, when he entered the Apple campus at the end of April and transferred files to his wife’s laptop via AirDrop, reveals the charge . A few days later he announced that he would switch to another employer, the Chinese Xiaopeng Motors. That also works on self-driving cars.

Apple’s database security team saw after that conversation that the employee had more activity on the network in the days before his announcement than in the years before he worked for Apple. Then the security went to look at images of security cameras, among other things.

The employee soon knew that he had stolen the documents. This includes a 25-page pdf with the design for a pcb in Apple’s self-driving car. It also involved other technical documentation.

The employee was not the only person with access to it. Within Apple, five thousand people knew about the project, while about 2,700 people had access to databases with technical information. This indicates that Apple had many people working on the possible new product. Apple confirmed last year to work on technology for a self-driving car. Since then, the American company has not made announcements in that area.

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