Two former Tesla employees are currently facing a lawsuit from the electric vehicle maker over the leak of the “Tesla Files” earlier this year. The leaked data reportedly includes information — such as social security numbers and other personal identifying information — of over 75,000 individuals.
Tesla outlined its response to the issue in an advisory notice that was published by the Maine Attorney General’s Office. The letter from the electric vehicle maker included a background into the issue, as well as the steps that the company has taken to address the leak. As noted by Tesla, it was informed by German media outlet Handelsblatt on May 10, 2023, that it had obtained confidential information. Later investigations would reveal that the leak was from two former Tesla employees.
As part of its response to the data leak, which was eventually reported by the German media outlet as the “Tesla files,” the electric vehicle maker noted that it had filed the appropriate legal action against its two former employees. The electronic devices of the two ex-Tesla workers were reportedly seized as well, and the company has obtained court orders that would prevent the former employees from further disseminating the leaked data.
Following is Tesla’s account for the issue, as per the company’s notice that was submitted to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.
“A foreign media outlet (named Handelsblatt) informed Tesla on May 10, 2023 that it had obtained Tesla confidential information. The investigation revealed that two former Tesla employees misappropriated the information in violation of Tesla’s IT security and data protection policies and shared it with the media outlet. The outlet has stated that it does not intend to publish the personal information, and in any event, is legally prohibited from using it inappropriately.
“Tesla immediately took steps to contain the incident, understand the scope, and protect your information. Among other things, we identified and filed lawsuits against the two former employees. These lawsuits resulted in the seizure of the former employees’ electronic devices that were believed to have contained the Tesla information. Tesla also obtained court orders that prohibit the former employees from further use, access, or dissemination of the data, subject to criminal penalties. Tesla cooperated with law enforcement and external forensics experts and will continue to take appropriate steps as necessary.
“We also arranged resources to determine what data was involved and identify potentially affected individuals. As discussed below, we recently confirmed that certain employee-related records were among the confidential information affected as part of this incident.”
The electric vehicle maker noted that it is offering credit monitoring and identity detection and resolution services to those affected by the data leak. This comes in the form of a complimentary membership to Experian’s IdentityWorks, which provides credit monitoring as well as identity detection and resolution services. The company also advised its users to be extremely vigilant against possible “phishing” attempts, and be extremely thorough with their account statements and credit history.
Tesla’s letter to the Maine Attorney General’s Office can be viewed below.
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