Apple Sues Ex-Employee For Leaking Secret Projects To Journalists Over 5 Years: All The Details

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In an interesting turn of events, Apple filed a lawsuit alleging that confidential information about projects including the recently launched Journal app was leaked. The development comes just days after the iPhone maker was sued by the US Department of Justice for allegedly creating a walled garden with its devices and ecosystem. This time, Apple accused former iOS software developer Andrew Aude of leaking details of his classified projects. As a result, Apple sought damages in excess of $25000 plus a jury trial.

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Apple's lawsuit explained

According to the lawsuit filed in California state court (via MacRumors ), Add not only violated Apple's confidentiality agreement but also violated labor laws. Aud joined Apple in 2016 and worked on projects that “privileged information related to dozens of Apple's most sensitive projects,” including battery optimization efforts.

Over a five-year period, the former staffer leaked information about more than 6 projects using his work-issued iPhone. It also includes a then-unannounced journal app as well as the company's first mixed-reality headset, Vision Pro. A claim in the lawsuit alleges, “Mr. Aude made this disclosure despite Apple's development efforts being secret and unknown to the public. In the following months, Mr. Aude disclosed additional Apple confidential information—including non-imitation products and hardware information.”

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The complaint alleges that in 2023, Play exclusively leaked information about the Journal app's final feature set via a phone call to a Wall Street Journal journalist. Soon after, Aaron Tilley, a journalist at the same firm, said, “Apple plans iPhone journaling app in expansion of health programs.” Uday is also accused of sending “over 1400” messages to Tilly using the encrypted communication app Signal. Also “over 10000 messages” to another journalist at The Information.

Actions taken by Apple

The Cupertino-based tech giant said it learned in 2023 that Aude had violated a confidentiality agreement and was fired later that year on allegations of misconduct. In a 2023 interview with Odd, she said the Apple employee denied all the allegations, but then went to the bathroom and erased “substantial evidence” from her work-issued iPhone.

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A month later, Uday admitted to some wrongdoing, proof of which was not destroyed, but was uncooperative when Apple wanted to settle the matter out of court, leaving the company with no choice but to go to court. The company considers Add an “ongoing threat”.

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