Apple this week settled a lawsuit against Simon Lancaster, a former employee. The company accused him of taking advantage of his role in Apple to obtain “sensitive trade secret information” that was handed over to a tech reporter.
Verge reported, Lancaster will pay an unspecified amount in exchange for Apple and will not discuss the details of its engineering work, business information, or information regarding unreleased products.
Apple first launched an action against Lancaster in March 2021 when the company learned that it had disclosed sensitive company information to a tech industry journalist who could use the information to write stories. Lancaster was employed at Apple for over 10 years, and when stealing data, he held the position of an Advanced Materials Lead and Product Design Architect.
“Despite over a decade of employment at Apple, Lancaster abused his position and trust within the company to systematically disseminate Apple’s sensitive trade secret information in an effort to obtain personal benefits,” Apple stated in its initial complaint.
Lancaster had access to confidential details as he was accountable for evaluating materials and prototyping new technologies to be used in future hardware devices. Apple claimed that he made use of his position to attend meetings at internal levels and read documents that were beyond their responsibility.
Lancaster began to leak details to a journalist in the latter half of 2018 and was able to exchange information to gain favorable publicity for a company in which he worked. Before he left Apple in the fall of 2018, Lancaster downloaded a “substantial number” of confidential Apple documents that contained information regarding not yet released Apple devices.