St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. threw staff members under the bus following the breaking story last week that the Cardinals have been hacking into the Astros’ database for up to three years. According to DeWitt, a small number of Cardinals employees were behind the intrusions into the Astros database, conduct which he called “roguish behavior.” He confirmed that those staff members would be held accountable for their actions. The FBI and Department of Justice are investigating the incident, and in addition to any discipline and/or termination that DeWitt may hand down, the actions of the staff members could result in criminal charges. As we have said before, it is always better to keep your day job than to succumb to the temptation to steal or use others’ data.
Reports since the story broke indicate that the first intrusions occurred as early as 2012. This is the first known case of a sports team attempting to obtain another team’s data, and is a reminder that data is valuable in any context and no business is immune from theft of its intellectual property and trade secrets and valuable business information, which could have a substantial impact on the bottom line.