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article imageTesla warns workers about the consequences of leaking information

By Ken Hanly     May 4, 2019 in Business
Employees of Tesla, the electric car (EV) maker received an e-mail today from the company's security team, that warns them about leaking information. Leaking information the e-mail claims could lead to firing, felony charges, and lawsuits.
Tesla has already laid charges
One employee had copied confidential business information to his personal account and threatened to disclose it. Tesla has filed felony charges against the individual. The company also has launched lawsuits against two former employees over intellectual property and stealing proprietary information and trade secrets.
The e-mail says in part: "When anyone joins Tesla, they agree they “will hold in strictest confidence and will not disclose, use, lecture upon or publish” any of Tesla’s confidential and proprietary information. Tesla will take action against those who improperly leak proprietary business information or violate the non-disclosure obligations to which we all agreed. This includes termination of employment, claims for damages, and even criminal charges."
Secrecy is part of Silicon Valley Culture
Tesla is not the only one to warn employees about leaks. Google sent a similar e-mail to its employees in 2016 which described how the company searched for internal leakers. In April last year, an Apple e-mail was leaked that described how the company had arrested 12 employees for leaking information on Apple's future plans. A Facebook internal memo from an official castigated leakers.
Some companies apparently leave "mouse traps" USB memory sticks to see if employees will use them to copy and sneak out information from their computers according to a report last year in the Guardian.
Recent events at Tesla
Tesla has been experiencing both good and bad happenings in the last while.
Among the negative happenings is the failure of the company to secure exemptions from tariffs for the components of the Model 3 that are made in China. There have also been problems again in production at the company's plant in Fremont. The company is also having difficulties with battery cell supplier Panasonic. Customers complain they are having long waits before they can get service or repairs from Tesla.
However, there have been positive developments as well. The company has stimulated enough interest in investment that it has raised its target from $2 billion to $2.7 billion. There have been many new openings of service centers and authorized body shops in cities such as Des Moines Iowa and Memphis Tennessee. There has been progress on automated manufacturing and also on the solar roof at the Sparks, Nevada battery plant.
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