Apple has filed a lawsuit against a former employee for breaching a confidentiality agreement. (AFP)News 

All details of Apple’s lawsuit against former employee for leaking confidential projects to journalists for more than 5 years

Apple has taken legal action by filing a lawsuit claiming that classified information about projects, including the newly released Journal app, was leaked. This comes shortly after the company was sued by the US Department of Justice for allegedly creating a closed ecosystem with its devices. Apple has accused former iOS software developer Andrew Aude of leaking details about its confidential projects and is seeking damages of more than $25,000 along with a jury trial.

Apple’s lawsuit explained

According to the lawsuit filed in California state court (via MacRumors ), Aude violated Apple’s confidentiality agreement and also violated labor laws. Aude joined Apple in 2016 and worked on projects that earned him “privacy on dozens of Apple’s most sensitive projects,” including battery optimization efforts.

Over the course of five years, a former employee leaked data on more than six projects using an iPhone issued to him for work. This includes the then-unannounced Journal app as well as the Vision Pro, the company’s first mixed reality headset. The lawsuit alleges that “Mr. Aude disclosed this even though Apple’s developments were confidential and not known to the public. Over the following months, Mr. Aude disclosed more of Apple’s confidential information—including information about unannounced products and hardware.”

The complaint states that Aude specifically leaked information about the finalized features of the Journal app to a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2023 via a phone call. Soon after, Aaron Tilley, a reporter for the same organization, filed a story titled “Apple Plans iPhone Journaling App to Expand Health Initiatives.” Aude is also accused of sending “more than 1,400” messages to Tilley using the encrypted messaging app Signal, as well as “more than 10,000 messages” to another reporter at The Information.

Apple actions

The Cupertino-based tech giant claims it learned of Aude’s alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement in 2023, and he was fired later that year for misconduct. In a 2023 interview with Aude, Apple says the employee denied all allegations, but then went to the bathroom and removed “a significant amount of evidence” from his work-issued iPhone.

A month later, Aude admitted to some wrongdoing, evidence of which was not destroyed, but did not cooperate when Apple wanted to settle the case out of court, leaving the company with no choice but to go to court. The company considered Aude a “continuing threat”.

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