For the Second time, an Apple employee has been accused of stealing confidential information about their autonomous car program, a program that has been kept mostly confidential. Jizhong Chen was caught with confidential information on a personal hard drive. This employee was found with approximately 100 pictures and thousands of confidential documents pertaining to this program. The employee claimed that this was to apply to internal jobs within Apple, which turned out to only be half true, as he also applied to a few external jobs, including one with one of Apple’s main competitors in the autonomous vehicle space. Even if this was not done on purpose, Apple is taking the employees negligence extremely seriously and opening an FBI investigation.
This incident raises concerns within Apple. One key differentiator with Apple is their lack of major leaks. In the past, they have been known to go to drastic measures to protect their information. Now that they have had two scares in the last year, people around the company are becoming increasingly worried about the safety of their information. Apple cannot function without having a level of trust in its employees, but leaks like this are becoming more and more common, so something has to be done. Apple sales are declining in most of their products, so the autonomous vehicle has lots of pressure to perform well. With more potential leaks happening every year, Apple may have a serious problem on their hands.