A former Tesla employee-turned-whistleblower has alerted UK authorities about a potential security risk concerning the EV maker’s supposed handling of employee data. Lukasz Krupski, who joined Tesla in 2018, alleged that personal information, including passport numbers, medical details, and salaries of current and former Tesla employees across the world, among others, are accessible to staff, including those in China, via internal systems.
In his communication with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s privacy watchdog, Krupski claimed that Tesla’s sensitive data was housed on a project tracking software called Jira, which was accessible to Tesla staff without restrictions. The whistleblower warned that this poses a security risk since individuals in China or Russia with potentially conflicting agendas could access the information.
In a comment to The Telegraph, the Tesla whistleblower noted that such data could be used against the West. “It could be very useful for Russian or Chinese intelligence. Individuals in these countries who have power, they have their own agendas which (do) not necessarily align with the Western world,” Krupski noted.
Among the data that could be accessed are details about other Tesla employees. These include CEO Elon Musk, whose personal details are reportedly in the system. And while Tesla employed over 127,000 workers last year, the database reportedly also includes people who have left the company, including their reasons for doing so.
Earlier this year, Tesla noted that it had tightened the security around the system. Previously, the company stated that the database could be accessed by anyone who has access to a valid Tesla email address. Journalists at Handelsblatt, who received Krupski’s leaked Tesla files, have noted that there were indications that China-based Tesla employees had contributed to Jira tickets.
Krupski, who has described himself as a longtime electric car enthusiast and a “Tesla believer,” is known for his whistleblowing activities. Earlier this year, he shared a large amount of data with German newspaper Handelsblatt. The leaked data, which media agencies have dubbed the “Tesla Files,” included, among other things, complaints from customers about Tesla’s driver-assist systems.
Krupski has also been interviewed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Both agencies have ongoing probes into Tesla’s self-driving program. The UK ICO, for its part, has not issued a comment about whether it had looked into the Tesla whistleblower’s claims. Tesla has also not posted a comment about the matter as of writing.
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