Global Economy

Former Apple executive accused of betrayal says he was snooped on

LOS ANGELES: A former Apple Inc executive who worked on the Chips that power iPhones claims the company reviewed his confidential text messages before suing him for launching his own startup.

Gerard Williams III left Apple in February before starting Nuvia Inc. that same month with several other former Apple developers. Williams was the “chief architect” for all of Apple’s chips for its mobile devices. His new company is developing processors for use in data centers.

In November, Nuvia exited stealth mode and announced funding worth $53 million.

Apple sued Williams for breach of contract in August, saying he was barred in an intellectual property agreement from planning or engaging in any business activities that are “competitive with or directly related to Apple’s business or products.”

In response, Williams accused Apple of a “stunning and disquieting invasion of privacy” over its monitoring of his texts. In one message, Williams said Apple would have “no choice but to purchase” his new company.

In “Apple’s theory, if one Apple employee speaks to (or texts) another employee conveying criticisms of Apple’s strategies or decisions, that discussion is itself a purportedly unlawful’ solicitation’ to leave Apple,” he said in a filing.

Apple has used privacy to heavily promote its gadgets and services in recent years, while criticising other technology companies, including Google and Facebook, for using too much personal data.


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