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Apple is going after a former employee for leaking confidential info to the media

The former employee traded secrets with someone in the media in exchange for coverage of the startup he worked for.

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Simon Lancaster is a former Apple employee that worked in the company as a materials lead engineer. Lancaster is no longer in the company, but Apple is suing him for sharing proprietary trade secrets with media while he was still an employee of the company.

According to Apple, Lancaster downloaded the sensitive materials from company servers. Some of the materials were even far out of the scope of his current job. Nevertheless, he obtained the materials, and in 2018, while he was still an employee of Apple, he shared some of them with a newsperson. A year later, in 2019, he downloaded another batch of sensitive documents on his device. Most of the files he downloaded on his last day at work. Apple also said that during 2018 and 2019, Lancaster exchanged their trade secrets. 

Apple’s final remark was that Lancaster used the obtained documents to elevate his position at a startup called Arris. 

Lancaster didn’t make any public statements regarding the lawsuit from his former employees. But he wrote a post on his LinkedIn page that he had a “startup itch.”

According to Apple sources, Lancaster leaked stories to someone in the media. In return, the person published a story about the startup. But even after that, Lancaster kept providing sensitive materials to the person that he used for his articles. 

According to the lawsuit, there is still a chance the more stories might publish containing sensitive materials and trade secrets important to Apple. Apple called that an “ongoing threat of misappropriation.” Finally, Apple said that the leaks could lead to articles that could include details about Apple hardware products that aren’t available to the public yet.

Considering that the lawsuit is in its early stages, it is difficult to anticipate whether the media person and Lancaster could make any further leaks and reveal details of the company’s upcoming hardware products. There isn’t even any court-ordered ban that prevents the media person and Lancaster from doing so.

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