Tesla employees have been accused of sharing private videos from the cameras installed on Tesla vehicles among themselves. These cameras are used for self-driving features in vehicles. According to a report by Reuters, the videos were shared through Tesla’s internal messaging systems between 2019 and 2022.
The videos shared by Tesla workers reportedly included disturbing incidents such as graphic crashes and road rage, as well as embarrassing moments like a naked man approaching a car. Some employees even used captures from the recorded videos to create memes shared in private group chats. It is important to note that Reuters or any other reliable source has not independently verified these allegations.
Tesla Disables Camera Recording by Default in 2023 Following Data Protection Authority Investigation
According to a report by Reuters, a former Tesla employee claims that some of the shared videos might have been recorded when the cars were turned off. The employee also said they could see inside people’s garages and private properties through the cameras. The former employee added that if there were anything distinctive in a customer’s garage, it would be shared among the workers. However, it is essential to note that Reuters or any other reliable source has not independently verified these claims.
As per Reuters, Tesla had a policy in the past which allowed them to receive recordings from non-operational vehicles if customers permitted it. However, after the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) discovered that Tesla cars frequently recorded anyone near the vehicle, the company turned off cameras by default in 2023.
In 2019, Tesla introduced Sentry Mode as a security feature to alert drivers about suspicious activity around their parked cars and save recorded incidents in the vehicle’s memory. In 2021, Tesla updated this feature, allowing drivers to live-stream their car’s surroundings using the Tesla app. It’s important to note that Reuters or any other reliable source has not independently verified these claims.
The firm makes Privacy Changes to Sentry Mode Following DPA Investigation, Claims Recordings Not Sent to the Company
According to Tesla’s support page, the company claims that Sentry Mode recordings are not sent to them and that live streams are encrypted end-to-end, making them inaccessible. After an investigation by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA), Tesla made some privacy-focused changes to Sentry Mode.
Now, cameras only start recording when the vehicle is touched, and the car’s headlights flash to warn passersby that it is recording. Sentry Mode has also faced legal challenges in Germany, where a consumer organization sued Tesla, alleging that it violates data protection laws. In China, Tesla vehicles were banned in certain areas due to concerns that the cameras would capture private meetings and senior leaders. The Chinese military also banned EV vehicles over similar surveillance concerns. It is important to note that Reuters or any other reliable source has not independently verified these claims.