Economy

Apple Engineer Accused of Stealing Autonomous Car Secrets

Apple Engineer Accused of Stealing Autonomous Car Secrets”

The engineer was apparently arrested one day before a planned journey to China, and it was discovered that he had made a job application to a rival Chinese company that is also working on autonomous cars.

Earlier last week, Apple pushed out over 200 employees from its electric auto project codenamed "Titan" to different parts of the company.

Apple didn't catch on to Chen's alleged espionage activities until January 11, when another Apple employee spotted him snapping pictures inside a secure Apple workspace. Apple investigators interviewed Chen and secured permission to examine his personally owned computer, hard drive, and smartphone.

"Apple Global Security found thousands of files containing Apple's intellectual property, including manuals, schematics, and diagrams, photographs taken inside an Apple building and an assembly drawing of an Apple-designed wiring harness for an autonomous vehicle", the report said.

In July of previous year, an ex-Apple engineer was charged with stealing secrets from the hush-hush self-driving vehicle technology project days before he quit to go to a Chinese startup. These documents contained a deluge of photos computer screens with sensitive info on them, some dating back as far as June 2018.

Chen was suspended from his job as a result of Apple's internal investigation, findings from which were shared with the FBI.

A Chinese engineer was charged with stealing secrets from a stealth self-driving vehicle project at Apple, a freshly unsealed criminal complaint revealed.

"Apple takes confidentiality and the protection of our IP very seriously", Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told The Verge in an email.

This is the second Apple employee to be charged in the theft of trade secrets specifically tied to Project Titan.

Chen faces ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty of stealing trade secrets. "We are working with authorities on this matter and are referring all questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation".



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