Apple has sued a former employee over alleged high-profile Apple Vision Pro and Journal app leaks

Apple Vision Pro.
(Image credit: Brady Snyder / Future)

A former Apple employee has found himself on the receiving end of a lawsuit after it was claimed that he shared confidential information about unannounced products with members of the press. It's said that the employee shared details about the unannounced Journal app with a journalist while information about the much-rumored Apple Vision Pro was also shared with another.

According to the lawsuit Apple, which fired the employee after discovering what he was doing, has demanded a jury trial and is seeking damages of more than $25,000 among other things as a result of the leaker's actions.

The lawsuit is aimed at Andrew Aude via a California court. Aude originally joined Apple as an iOS software engineer focusing on battery technology and features soon after graduating from college and was "privy to information regarding dozens of Apple's most sensitive projects," according to the complaint.


That complaint, first reported by MacRumors, claims that Aude was sharing information with journalists over the course of a five-year period and even went so far as to use his work-issued iPhone to do it.

Apple provided receipts for its claim with one example relating to a conversation between Aude and a journalist working for The Wall Street Journal. The conversation reportedly took place in April of 2023 shortly before a report from the same outlet which suggested that Apple intended to launch a journaling app — following the leak Apple confirmed that it was indeed going to bring such an app to the iPhone as part of the iOS 17 update.

Alongside this claim, Apple also said that Aude was speaking with the same journalist via Signal using the name Homeboy for the contact on his work iPhone. It's also said that more than 10,000 text messages were also sent to another journalist using the same app. The journalist, apparently working for The Information, was said to have received information about the unannounced Apple Vision Pro.

"As another example, an October 2020 screenshot on Mr. Aude's Apple-issued work iPhone shows that he disclosed Apple's development of products within the spatial computing space to a non-Apple employee," the lawsuit claims. "Mr. Aude made this disclosure even though Apple's development efforts were confidential and not known to the public. Over the following months, Mr. Aude disclosed additional Apple confidential information—including information concerning unannounced products, and hardware information."

Upon finding out about the leaks Apple spoke with Aude only for him to then delete "significant amounts of evidence" from his work iPhone.

It's claimed that Apple has since tried to settle the matter out of court only for the leaker to refuse to cooperate. Apple now says that Aude poses an "ongoing threat" given the information that he still possesses about the company and its unannounced products.

What comes next is unclear, but it's probably fair to say that this lawsuit could well have a chilling effect on any leaks that are currently coming out of Apple and its employees — a fact that is no doubt not lost on Apple and its security and legal teams.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.