German newspaper Handelsblatt publishes 100GB of confidential Tesla data: here’s what’s inside

German newspaper Handelsblatt publishes 100GB of confidential Tesla data: here’s what’s inside

1,388 PDF documents, 1,015 Excel sheets and 213 PowerPoint presentations, as well as thousands of customer complaints: in total, more than 100 GB of data ended up in the hands of the German newspaper Handelsblatt. They care about Tesla, and its most important project: autonomous driving, which according to this information will be, in some cases, potentially dangerous. But they also concern all customers of Elon Musk’s company, whose data would not be adequately protected. More: The files include tables with more than 100,000 names of past and present employees, including Musk’s Social Security number, as well as personal email addresses, phone numbers, salaries, bank information and secret production details.

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There are no hackers

Handelsblatt accessed the data through an anonymous informant. The Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology found no evidence of forgery or tampering with the files. That they are true is also confirmed by the fact that Tesla would try to prevent the publication of the information, threatening legal action, then explaining through a lawyer that a “disgruntled former employee” could abuse his access as a service technician. get information.

According to Handelsblatt, German authorities have found strong indications of a possible data protection breach by Tesla. The American company has a Gigafactory in Germany, but the registered office is in the Netherlands, which is why the data protection supervisory authority in the Netherlands was also alerted. Tesla has already submitted a preliminary report to the Dutch authorities on the matter, a step required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when the company fears that the personal data of its customers may have been breached.

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What’s inside

For six months, a team of twelve Handeslblatt editors evaluated Tesla’s papers before publishing them. “One of our longest and most difficult investigations”, as indicated on the website of the magazine, which has also enabled readers. form check if you are one of the people involved in the data leak. This applies not only to Tesla owners, but also to employees: if so, you can contact the editorial staff and provide other information.

Currently, several complaints about problems related to the automatic driving system have come out of Tesla’s files. More than 2,400 incidents of unintended acceleration and more than 1,500 braking errors, including 139 incidents of unnecessary braking and 383 unexcused stops resulting from false collision warnings. Accident cases would exceed a thousand, but the list of complaints of potentially dangerous defects will be very large, including more than 3000 items, in the period from 2015 to March 2022.

Most of the complaints come from the United States, but reports from Asia and Europe, especially Germany, are also on file. Handelsblatt contacted several customers from different countries. All of them confirmed the information contained in the file, many also gave insight into their experiences with driving freely and provided photo and video evidence of the errors they encountered.

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