Tesla is suing an ex-engineer for allegedly stealing the company’s supercomputer secrets.
Bloomberg originally reported that Tesla is suing a former engineer, Alexander Yatskov, for allegedly stealing “secret and closely guarded” documents related to the company’s Project Dojo supercomputer technology. In a copy of the complaint, Tesla claims that Yatskov downloaded the information to his own devices and refused to return it.
Yatskov, who Tesla said lied about his work experience and skills in his application, started working as a thermal engineer for the electric vehicle maker in January and helped design Dojo’s cooling systems.
Dojo is Tesla’s neural network training computer that analyzes massive volumes of data to train the artificial intelligence software of its self-driving cars. According to the allegation, Mr. Yatskov had access to Dojo cooling information and other secret information related to the project.
Tesla claims Yatskov admitted to stealing the information
Tesla says all engineers sign a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits them from disclosing or storing confidential Dojo-related information. Tesla claims that Yatskov violated this agreement by “removing confidential Tesla information from his work devices and accounts, accessing it on his personal devices, and creating Tesla documents containing confidential Project Dojo details on a personal computer. »
Additionally, the company claims to have discovered that Yatskov was sending emails containing sensitive Tesla information from his personal email address to his work email address.
According to Tesla’s complaint, Yatskov admitted to keeping confidential documents on his own devices when the company confronted him with the issue. The electric vehicle maker then placed Mr Yatskov on administrative leave effective April 6, 2022 and asked him to bring his devices so Tesla could recover the stolen data.
Yatskov reportedly responded by giving Tesla a “dummy” laptop to cover up any evidence against him. This alleged decoy did not contain the offending information and was designed to “appear to have viewed merely innocuous Tesla information, such as an offer letter.”
On May 2, Yatskov resigned from his post. Tesla seeks compensatory and punitive damages from Yatskov, as well as a court order for Yatskov to release the information.