Home Legal Tesla Data Breach Affected Over 75,000 People

Tesla Data Breach Affected Over 75,000 People

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strongAn aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai, China on March 29, 2021. EV giant Tesla has pinned the data leak that led to a media exclusive on the company’s autopilot issues on two former employees of the company. XIAOLU CHU/GETTY IMAGES/strong



By Anan Ashraf

EV giant Tesla has pinned the data leak that led to a media exclusive on the company’s autopilot issues on two former employees of the company.


What Happened: German newspaper Handelsblatt informed Tesla that it obtained confidential information on May 10 and in an investigation that followed, it was traced back to two former employees, Tesla said in a statement posted on the Maine’s General Attorney website on Friday.

The two employees misappropriated the information and violated Tesla’s IT security and data protection policies, according to the EV giant. The company has taken steps to contain the incident and protect information including filing a lawsuit against the two unnamed employees, according to Tesla.

An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai, China on March 29, 2021. EV giant Tesla has pinned the data leak that led to a media exclusive on the company’s autopilot issues on two former employees of the company. XIAOLU CHU/GETTY IMAGES

“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,” the statement read.

The leaked data pertains to 75,735 persons, including former and current employees of the EV giant. Though Tesla has not found any misuse of personal data, it has offered complimentary membership of Experian IdentityWorks, which provides credit monitoring and identity theft and resolution services to affected individuals.

Why It Matters: Handelsblatt released a report based on the leaked data. As per the report, Tesla customers filed more than 2,400 complaints regarding self-acceleration issues and 1,500 complaints about braking problems between 2015 and March 2022.

While most of these incidents had minor consequences, some resulted in fatal outcomes, the report noted.

An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai, China on March 29, 2021. EV giant Tesla has pinned the data leak that led to a media exclusive on the company’s autopilot issues on two former employees of the company. XIAOLU CHU/GETTY IMAGES

The newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Sebastian Matthes, explained that the exclusive data used for the report was sourced from multiple informants and comprised a significant amount of information, totaling 100 gigabytes and consisting of 23,398 files. A team spent six months analyzing the files to compile the report, he added.

Produced in association with Benzinga