Tesla staff shared images and videos of customers


Tesla

A class action lawsuit against Tesla was filed in the US after it was claimed that its workers had shared private images and videos taken by users’ cars.  Henry Yeh filed the lawsuit on behalf of all persons who have owned or leased a Tesla vehicle after 2019.  In violation of privacy rules, a Reuters article claims that Tesla staff have viewed and shared videos recorded by cameras in clients’ cars. Tesla staff were able to identify individual Tesla owners’ residences and potential identities according to the footage’s location info. The lawsuit claims that Tesla misled users about how it used their data. Also, it claims that the company breaks the California Constitution as well as privacy laws and rules. According to the words on Tesla’s website, its cameras are “designed from the ground up to protect your privacy.”

Tesla Autopilot function

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Tesla claims footage from its cars is safe

Also, according to Reuters, Tesla staff secretly shared images and videos taken by users’ cars using a private chat service from 2019 to 2022. Some of the videos were really weird and shows Tesla users in a bad scenario. A former staff was quoted in the report as saying that one footage shows a naked man near a car. The company has also posted videos of crashes and situations involving angry drivers. In one of these videos from 2021, a Tesla is shown hitting a child riding a bicycle. The event happened in a quiet suburb while driving at a high speed.

Tesla Model S

Despite the lawsuit, Tesla still claims that the camera footage from its cars is safe. The company also says that it does not break any law. In its user privacy statement, the company said that footage from its cars remains anonymous. In fact, it claims that they have no link to the user or the car. Seven former workers, however, told Reuters that a PC tool they used at the office might be able to find the location of the camera. This means that the homes of Tesla owners could be identified. Another ex-staff claimed that some of the videos looked to have been captured with the car in park and the engine off. The company used to be able to get video recordings from its vehicles even when they were off. Although it did this with the owner’s consent, the company has since stopped doing so.

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