Corporate Espionage: Cases and Solutions

By: BJ Neller   /   February 7, 2017



When it comes to business, there are many ways to pre-empt the completion. One way is simply to create a better product or service. Another way is to create a product so different and unique from other products in its niche that people flock to your product. Unfortunately, some businesses seek to gain an unfair advantage over other business in disreputable ways. The most common of these methods is engaging in corporate espionage which is both illegal and foolish. At Secure Waste, we present you with examples of how some companies have chosen to take a short cut when it comes to gaining market share.


• Père d'Entrecolles: One of the earliest cases of industrial espionage was committed in the 1700s by Père d'Entrecolles a French Jesuit missionary. He learned the secrets of high-quality porcelain making while in China by gaining unauthorized access to kilns and books that the porcelain makers used.

• Gillette: An engineer faxed proprietary information about its next generation shaver to Warner-Lambert, Bic, and American Safety Razor. The employee - Steven Louis Davis - pled guilty to theft of trade secrets and was later sentenced to 27 months in prison.

• Motorola: US customs officers discovered 1,000 confidential documents allegedly stolen from Motorola on the person of a Chinese employee of the electronics company.

• Avery Dennison Corp: Pin Yen Yang, President of Four Pillars Enterprise Company in Taiwan was charged with theft of trade secrets that ended up costing Avery Dennison Corp., millions of dollars in revenue.

• Opel Vs Volkswagen: German automobile manufacture Opel accused several former executives of stealing bundles of confidential documents and giving them to their new company Volkswagen. Though Volkswagen denied this, Volkswagen would later agree to pay General Motors, the parent company of Opel, $100 million.



What are some ways to help prevent your company from becoming the victim of corporate espionage? The prevention of corporate espionage all boils down to controlling your company’s data. This means controlling how and where it is stored, who has access to it and the manner in which it is disposed. Here are some of our suggestions for making your company’s secrets safer.


• Identify Your Companies Trade Secrets

• Identify the Threats

• Ensure Physical Security

• Establish Policies for Controlling Information

• Compartmentalize Information

• Properly and thoroughly dispose of sensitive materials


Lastly, our document shredding services are thorough and abide by all regulations regarding the proper destruction of sensitive company data. Don’t become the subject of another headline highlighting the latest incidence of corporate espionage. Keep your data secure and your company’s future sound.