Elon Musk's social security number was found in the 'Tesla files' leaked by a whistleblower, report says

  • German newspaper Handelsblatt said it received private data from a Tesla whistleblower.

  • Among the leaked information was CEO Elon Musk's social security number, the report said.

  • It also included contact details of customers, as well as information such as staff salaries.

Elon Musk's social security number was contained in a huge tranche of data leaked by a Tesla whistleblower, a German newspaper reported Friday.

Handelsblatt said it received 100 gigabytes of data including more than 100,000 names and salaries of current and former Tesla employees, along with customers' contact details, and information about the EV maker's production.

Insider has not independently verified the documents dubbed the "Tesla files."

The data also suggested that Tesla had received about 4,000 customer complaints about problems including the "phantom braking" issue that is under federal investigation, per Handelsblatt. The company told employees to only communicate verbally about complaints so there were no written records, the report added.

Last summer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration widened an investigation into the carmaker after receiving more than 750 complaints from owners who said their Teslas would suddenly brake at high speeds.

According to Handelsblatt, the leak could breach Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, which aims to protect the collection and processing of European citizens' information, and could result in a big fine for Tesla.

The publication quoted a Tesla lawyer who blamed a "disgruntled former employee" for the breach.

Dagmar Hartge, an officer for the data protection office in Brandenburg where Tesla's gigafactory is located, said the data leak was "massive," per The Guardian.

The leak comes after Reuters reported in April that some Tesla workers circulated videos internally of vehicle owners taken by cameras in the cars.

Hartge, Tesla, and Musk didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.

Are you a Tesla employee with insight to share? Contact this reporter at stabahriti@insider.com or by Twitter DM.

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