A former Apple employee leaked details about products he didn't like from his work iPhone, lawsuit says

  • Apple is suing a former software engineer for leaking confidential information.

  • Apple said Andrew Aude shared information about products to media and staff at other companies.

  • It said Aude still poses a threat because of his knowledge of confidential company information.

Apple is suing a former employee who it said leaked confidential information, including about products he didn't like, from his work-issued iPhone.

In a complaint filed on March 18 at a California court, Apple said former software engineer Andrew Aude shared information about projects, including Apple's Journal app and the Vision Pro, to media outlets and employees at other tech companies over a period of five years.

The tech giant is suing Aude, who was hired in 2016, for breaching its confidentiality agreement and violating labor laws.

The lawsuit was first reported by MacRumors.

Apple said it discovered the leaks in late 2023. When confronted, it said Aude denied his involvement but then feigned a bathroom break and "permanently deleted significant amounts of evidence from his device."

This included deleting the Signal app — which he used for communications — from his work-issued phone, it said.

But the lawsuit said that Aude often saved screenshots of his communications on his work iPhone "to preserve them for posterity," and Apple was able to retrieve those.

According to Apple's lawsuit, an analysis of Aude's Apple-issued work iPhone showed he had over 1,400 encrypted communications with one Wall Street Journal journalist over a four-month period.

Aude also sent a journalist at The Information over 10,000 text messages, and traveled to meet her, according to Apple.

Aude's screenshots were attached to the lawsuit. In one particular leak to the Journal journalist around April 2023, Aude's screenshots showed "'giddy anticipation" of the "chaos" awaiting the company following the publication of leaked information, Apple said.

Aude had also characterized the leak to other colleagues as a "necessary evil," it added.

"In connection with one leak, Mr. Aude admitted that he violated his obligations to Apple so he could 'kill' products and features with which he took issue," Apple said separately in the lawsuit.

Aude's leaking of information led to the publication of multiple news reports, according to Apple.

"His disclosures also have impeded Apple's ability to surprise and delight with its new offerings," the tech company said in its lawsuit.

While Aude's employment has been terminated, Apple said he poses an "ongoing threat" to the company due to his knowledge of its confidential and proprietary information, as well as his "long and extensive history of disclosing it to third parties intentionally and without authorization."

Apple is pursuing a jury trial, damages, and an order directing Aude not to disclose the company's confidential and proprietary information to third parties without its consent. It also wants Aude to give up his discretionary bonuses and restricted stock units.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment, sent outside business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider