Apple Sues Former Employee for Leaking Secrets

Andrew Aude

In a recent turn of events, tech giant Apple has filed a lawsuit against its former employee, Andrew Aude, accusing him of leaking sensitive information about the company’s products and strategies. The lawsuit, filed in a California state court, alleges that Aude was responsible for the unauthorized release of confidential details about Apple Journal and VisionOS.

Aude, who served as an iOS engineer with a focus on optimizing battery performance, had access to a plethora of secret Apple products, including some Health Initiatives. His position within the company provided him with access to sensitive information, which he allegedly misused.

Between June and September 2023, Aude reportedly exchanged over 1,400 encrypted messages with journalists, including Wall Street Journal’s “Homeboy”. Apple claims that Aude shared final feature lists for unreleased Apple products with these reporters, a claim supported by video footage of him traveling across the continent to meet them.

The lawsuit further alleges that Aude leaked secrets about the Apple Journal app to a reporter, leading The Wall Street Journal to publish a story about it. In December 2023, Aude admitted to leaking confidential data during a company meeting, after initially denying the allegations and attempting to erase evidence from his company-issued iPhone.

Following his confession, Apple terminated Aude’s employment, citing the provision of information about unreleased product features as the reason. The company has requested a jury trial to assess the damages, with restitution or disgorgement depending on the amount of bonuses and stock options lost.

In addition to the lawsuit, Apple has requested a restraining order against Aude, prohibiting him from revealing any further confidential information about the company. This lawsuit underscores Apple’s commitment to protecting its corporate secrets and serves as a stark reminder to employees about the consequences of violating their confidentiality agreements.

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