Former Apple Engineer Gets Prison Time for Stealing Driverless Car Tech

Apple engineers deal with a lot of confidential information, but leaking those secrets could land you in jail. Xiaolang Zhang was sentenced to 120 days in prison this week after being convicted of stealing Apple’s self-driving car technology, according to California court filings first reported by 9to5Mac Thursday…

Zhang worked on “Project Titan,” the codename for Apple’s autonomous car division, starting in 2015. Titan has been in the works for roughly 10 years, but it remains one of Apple’s most secretive projects. Zhang announced he was quitting in 2018, after going on paternity leave, to return to China… However, his employer grew suspicious when he learned he was also joining XMotors, a Chinese startup developing autonomous cars.

During this final meeting, Zhang’s employer felt he was evasive, prompting an investigation from Apple’s New Product Security Team. Zhang regularly dealt with confidential files, but when he turned in his company laptop, his employer noticed he’d been downloading these classified documents at a suspicious rate.

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