Elon Musk’s social security number among data leaked by whistleblower

100 gigabytes of data have been leaked.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Musk presenting on Tesla.jpg
Musk presenting on Tesla.

Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia 

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Friday that Elon Musk's social security number was included in a huge pile of data provided by a Tesla whistleblower.

This is according to a report published on Saturday by Business Insider India.

The news outlet said it received 100 gigabytes of data that contained more than 100,000 names and salaries of current and former Tesla employees.

The leak also revealed that Tesla had received about 4,000 customer complaints about problems including the "phantom braking" issue that is under federal investigation.  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is already investigating the carmaker after receiving more than 750 complaints from owners who said their Teslas would suddenly brake at high speeds.

What was perhaps more troublesome was that the company told employees to only communicate verbally about complaints as to avoid written records.

Making matters worse is the fact that the leak could breach Europe's General Data Protection Regulation resulting in a significant fine for Tesla.

According to Business Insider India, Handelsblatt quoted a Tesla lawyer who placed the blame for the breach on a  "disgruntled former employee.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Friday that the data protection watchdog for the Netherlands stated it was aware of possible Tesla data protection breaches, but it was too early for further comment.

“We are aware of the Handelsblatt story and we are looking into it,” said a spokesperson for the AP data watchdog in the Netherlands, where Tesla’s European headquarters are based.

They refused to make any comments on whether the agency might launch or may have already launched an investigation but did reveal they were notified of the breach by their counterpart in the German state of Brandenberg.

Although Handelsblatt reported Tesla was the one to have notified the Dutch authorities about the breach, the AP spokesperson said they were not aware if this was the case.

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