What’s Up With Apple: New Apple Car Software Hire, Apple Fought the Law, and More

The former head of Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving software engineering has gone to work for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Christian “C.J.” Moore now reports to another former Tesla engineering executive, Stuart Bowers, who joined Apple late last year.

According to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg, Moore already has begun working on self-driving software for Apple. The highlight of Moore’s tenure at Tesla was his statement to California Department of Motor Vehicles officials investigating self-driving software that Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s statements about the software did not “match engineering reality.”

Moore is not the only critic of Musk’s comments about the capabilities of Autopilot and Tesla’s so-called full self-driving (FSD) software. The Washington Post on Monday published a detailed story on the company’s latest run-in with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that began following a flawed FSD update Tesla issued last month.

Musk also has complained about the proposed appointment of Duke University engineering professor Missy Cummings’s recent appointment as a senior safety advisor to the NHTSA.

Apple did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment, but that’s no surprise. Apple won’t even admit whether it is working on a car.

Apple has released its latest Transparency Report detailing global requests from law enforcement agencies and how Apple responded to the requests for the second half of last year. The report breaks down the data by the number of requests for information on devices, financial identifiers like credit cards or suspected fraud transactions, account information like email addresses and emergency information.

The United States leads by a wide margin in requests for device information (4,025), financial identifiers (537) and account information (5,995). Of the requests for device information, Apple provided the requested information for 82% of the total. Of requests for financial information, Apple responded positively 72% of the time.

During the last half of 2020, Apple was served with 2,793 search warrants for account information from the U.S. government, 2,671 subpoenas for account information and 3,380 subpoenas for device information.

Briefly noted:

Reuters has a quick summary of how Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature has affected four companies that recently reported quarterly results. Spoiler: only one finished in line with expectations and the other three all missed.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced the arrest in Poland of Yaroslav Vasinskyi, a Ukrainian national, who took part in ransomware attacks by a group known as REvil or Sodinokibi. Last April, the group stole schematic drawings of Apple’s latest MacBooks from Quanta Computer, Apple’s Taiwan-based manufacturing partner for the machines, and demanded $50 million for their return.

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