In a startling revelation, Tesla, the American electric vehicle titan, recently confirmed a substantial data breach. Over 75,000 of its current and former employees have had their personal data exposed. The breach took place in May, and the company has since started notifying the affected individuals.
The Inside Story
What’s more alarming is that this wasn’t the work of external hackers. Tesla’s investigation pointed towards two of its own former employees as the culprits. These individuals had violated the company’s IT security protocols and data protection measures.
In a quick response to the breach, Tesla not only managed to contain the incident but also took steps to ensure the compromised data was safeguarded. The company has taken legal actions against the pair, seizing their electronic devices believed to hold the stolen data. Additionally, court orders have been obtained to restrain the ex-employees from accessing, using, or distributing the pilfered information, with severe penalties in place.
A Whistleblowing Twist?
In an intriguing turn, there’s a possibility that the duo passed on some of the sensitive data to the German newspaper, Handelsblatt. However, Tesla fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the newspaper has committed not to misuse or publish the information, owing to legal constraints.
The exposed data mainly involves personal details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses that Tesla maintains for employment purposes.
A Link to the Autopilot Controversy?
While no misuse of the exposed data has come to light, Tesla isn’t taking chances. They are offering the affected individuals complimentary access to Experian IdentityWorks. This service will keep an eye on their credit and shield them from potential identity theft risks.
Amidst all this, a cloud hangs over Tesla due to previous revelations regarding its Autopilot system. Back in 2021, testimonies revealed that issues with the system weren’t addressed after a 2016 fatal accident in the US. This lawsuit concerns another tragic Tesla accident in 2019, which is now progressing towards trial. Whether there’s a connection between the data breach and the Autopilot concerns remains to be seen.