German newspaper Handelsblatt came out on Thursday with news about the leak. The agency in the German state of Brandenburg called the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) because Tesla’s European headquarters are in Amsterdam. It is up to the AP to decide if a detailed investigation is required in the case.
According to the message, the leaked data includes service numbers for civil servants. That also includes that of CEO Elon Musk. Moreover, the leakage has according to Handelsblatt personal email addresses, phone numbers and salaries. The customer’s bank details have also been stolen.
In addition, confidential data about the cars themselves will be on the street. It would seem that there are thousands of complaints about the automatic Teslas, for example about sudden acceleration or stopping. That’s not too surprising, because with a ‘bug report’ Tesla drivers can easily take such complaints to the road. Tesla would instruct employees to withhold information about the incidents to avoid prosecution.
‘I’ve never experienced it before’
According to an administrator in Brandenburg, this is a ‘major’ data breach, Algemeen Dagblad reports. “I’ve never experienced such a high rate before,” says one representative there. He has transferred the file to the Dutch AP. A spokesman declined to comment on the matter. “We have been informed and we are reviewing the case. That is all I can say about it.” It usually takes several weeks for authorities to decide whether an official investigation is necessary.
The data would have been stolen by a “disgruntled former employee,” Tesla’s lawyer said. Handelsblatt. As a service technician, he would have access to the data. Tesla is investigating whether the man could be prosecuted.