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Safeguarding Information Theft by Departing Employees

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The recent trade secret dispute between Waymo and Uber underscores the significant risks that employers face to maintain information secrecy when employees leave. Anthony Levandowski, a Waymo engineer who led its projects on self-driving cars, left Waymo to begin a new start-up company for self-driving technology, which was later acquired by Uber. Right before leaving, Levandowski allegedly downloaded thousands of confidential Waymo files from Waymo servers. Upon discovering this activity, Waymo sued Uber for trade secret misappropriation, claiming that Levandowski provided Waymo’s confidential and proprietary information to Uber. The Waymo case is a reminder that companies can benefit from an action plan on how best to protect company trade secrets from leaving with their departing employees. This article identifies several strategies to manage this risk.

Published in Industry Today, April 2018

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