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Tesla asks Apple for iCloud data of employee who stole company secrets

Tesla has asked Apple for access to the iCloud data of one of its former employees.

According to Bloomberg, the company wants to see what an engineer has on their iCloud account after they stole thousands of source code files of Tesla’s Autopilot software, just days before leaving to work at rival company XMotors.ai.

Guangzhi Cao has already admitted to uploading copies of the source code to his own iCloud account but says he has done nothing wrong because he didn’t make use of the data and has since tried to remove it from his personal devices.

Bloomberg adds that Cao and his lawyers tried to provide forensic copies of the iOS devices Tesla wants to inspect, but the company wasn’t happy and wanted full access.

Apple is expected to comply with Tesla’s request, provided it meets legal standards in the United States.

In July of last year, Apple’s own self-driving team saw a prosecution after a member of staff left the company with trade secrets to work for rival firm Xpeng.

The Apple self-driving case is ongoing, and the developer has denied any wrongdoing.

Tesla’s proprietory Autopilot software is used in its cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and the Tesla Model S, and whilst the company’s tech has yet to achieve full self-driving independence, it can already be used to park, navigate highways, and change lanes.

Apple’s own self-driving scheme is ongoing, with the firm reportedly conducting road tests and buying self-driving startup Drive.ai, though details on how Apple’s new tech will work in the real world remain to be seen.

Conflicting reports have questioned whether Apple will release its long-rumored Apple Car, or whether it will sell software to manufacturers looking to implement self-driving technology in the coming decade.

Google is also working on its own self-driving technology.

What are your thoughts on this latest case? Do you think Apple should hand over data, or does it go against the company’s privacy promises? Let us know on Twitter: @AppleMagazine.

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