Tesla Motors, Inc. faces a proposed class action over an apparent data breach the automaker said was caused by two ex-employees.
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The 38-page lawsuit says that after German media outlet Handelsblatt informed the electric vehicle maker on May 10 that it had obtained private records relating to Tesla employees, a subsequent investigation revealed that two former Tesla workers had removed certain sensitive data stored in the company’s network and shared it with the foreign business newspaper.
According to the Maine Attorney General’s office, the information of more than 75,000 people was compromised in the Tesla data breach. Fox Business reports that Tesla immediately took legal action against the two former employees allegedly responsible for leaking the sensitive information to Handelsblatt.
Tesla’s August 18 notice letter relays that the data compromised in the breach included employees’ names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. However, the notice letter adds that the media outlet has stated “it does not intend to publish the personal information.”
The suit argues that the breach is a direct result of Tesla’s “negligent” data security protocols and inadequate training of its employees.
In addition, the case takes issue with the automaker’s failure to timely notify victims that their information had been compromised. Although Tesla reportedly learned of the incident in mid-May of this year, affected employees did not receive notice until August 18, more than three months later, the complaint shares.
By collecting and storing employees’ information, Tesla was legally obligated to protect the sensitive data from unauthorized disclosure, the filing contends.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone whose personal information stored or possessed by Tesla was subject to the data breach announced by the company on August 18, 2023.
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