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  • Jawbone Suing Fitbit for Poaching Employees and Stealing Information

    This past week, Jawbone ended up suing its rival fitness tracker manufacturer, Fitbit, accusing the company of “systematically plundering” corporate secrets by hiring Jawbone workers who ended up smuggling sensitive data before exiting the company. The Fitbit recruiters were accused of contacting roughly a third of the Jawbone staff early in 2015 where some of the people who left supposedly used USB thumb drives to save data about Jawbone’s current and future plans, then deleted system logs and/or used apps to cover their tracks.

    Of the many accused, Ana Rosario was one of the employees used as an example. Jawbone claims that Fitbit hired her as a user experience researcher on April 16. Rosario didn’t announce her intention to leave Jawbone until April 22 and on April 20, she attended a meeting with the firm’s senior director of product management to discuss future plans and downloaded a “playbook” of future Jawbone products. In her exit interview, she initially denied taking confidential data but later admitted to having a copy of a “Market Trends & Opportunities” presentation.

    Audio specialist, Patrick Narron, was another example used. Narron was said to have given his two-week notice on April 8 saying he was leaving for another job but he failed to mention it was Fitbit. Furthermore, he purportedly emailed himself confidential data several times.

    Fitbit’s chief people officer called Jawbone on April 17th and acknowledged the poaching without mentioning any data theft. The company denied any wrongdoing and promised to “vigorously” defend itself. On its behalf, Jawbone is asking the court for financial compensation and measures to prevent its ex-employees from using the stolen data.

    Fitbit has a lot to lose here as the company is on the verge for an initial public stock offering. The Jawbone lawsuit could potentially harm the company before the IPO.

    We’ll have to wait and see how the case turns out.

    Source: The New York Times