A Tesla electric vehicle is seen through a charging point displayed during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China. Image Credit: Reuters

San Francisco: Elon Musk-run Tesla has started notifying current and former employees whose information was involved in a confidential data breach in May that affected 75,735 people.

In a notice posted on the US-based Maine Attorney General’s website, Tesla said an investigation had found “two former Tesla employees misappropriated the information in violation of Tesla’s IT security and data protection policies”.

"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. These lawsuits resulted in the seizure of the former employees’ electronic devices that were believed to have contained the Tesla information," it added.

Moreover, the automaker mentioned that it obtained court orders that prohibit the former employees from further use, access, or dissemination of the data, subject to criminal penalties.

Tesla stated that two former employees shared the sensitive information with the German newspaper Handelsblatt. However, the outlet assured Tesla that it would not publish the information and that it was "legally prohibited from using it inappropriately," according to the notice.

The data breach involved concerned data for certain current and former employees, including their names, and certain contact information (such as address, phone number, and/or email address), that Tesla maintained in the ordinary course of business in its capacity as an employer.

Tesla stressed that it had discovered no misuse of personal data, but it has provided a free membership to Experian IdentityWorks' credit monitoring and identity theft service.

Meanwhile, Tesla did not fix the Autopilot system after a fatal crash in the US in 2016 that killed a driver, the electric car-maker’s engineers have reportedly admitted in their testimonies.

According to Bloomberg, the engineers admitted this in testimony in 2021 in a family’s lawsuit over a similar 2019 fatal Tesla collision that is now headed for a trial in the US.