Two employees for electric car company Tesla are accused of mishandling employee data, accidentally leaking over 75,000 individuals' information to a foreign media outlet.
The Maine Attorney General's Office announced the data breach on Friday in an advisory notice published on its website.
The notice included a copy of the car company original alert that was sent out the same day explaining the context of the breach.
"A foreign media outlet (named Handelsblatt) informed Tesla on May 10, 2023 that it had obtained Tesla confidential information. The investigation revealed that two former Tesla employees misappropriated the information in violation of Tesla’s IT security and data protection policies and shared it with the media outlet," Tesla wrote in its initial report of the incident.
It continued, "The outlet has stated that it does not intend to publish the personal information, and in any event, is legally prohibited from using it inappropriately."
The company took immediate legal action against the two employees responsible and arranged the seizure of their equipment.
"Tesla immediately took steps to contain the incident, understand the scope, and protect your information. Among other things, we identified and filed lawsuits against the two former employees," Tesla said in the notice. "These lawsuits resulted in the seizure of the former employees’ electronic devices that were believed to have contained the Tesla information."
The company continued, "Tesla also obtained court orders that prohibit the former employees from further use, access, or dissemination of the data, subject to criminal penalties. Tesla cooperated with law enforcement and external forensics experts and will continue to take appropriate steps as necessary."
Social Security numbers as well as names and other personal identifying information were compromised in the security breach.
Tesla is offering "credit monitoring and identity detection and resolution services" to those affected.