Tesla staff reportedly shared videos of intimate moments and customer vehicle crashes

Tesla Inc. employees allegedly shared videos taken for customers’ cars, including intimate moments and crashes, new report says from Reuters.

The report claims that between 2019 and 2022, Tesla employees shared images of vehicles on internal messaging systems. Tesla vehicles have multiple cameras that are used by the self-driving feature, with the footage also saved by Tesla for test analysis, which is how employees gained access.

Videos shared by employees reportedly include a video of a man approaching a completely naked vehicle, as well as crashes and road rage incidents. A video reportedly showed a Tesla speeding through a residential area, hitting a child on a bicycle, a video that spread “like wildfire” around Tesla’s office in San Mateo, California. Other images reportedly included funny dogs and traffic signs that employees turned into memes before sharing in private group chats.

Notably, among employees and former employees Reuters spoke to, it was also claimed that some of the recordings were made when the cars were parked and turned off. “We could see inside people’s garages and their private property,” said a former employee. “Let’s say a Tesla customer had something in their garage that was distinctive; you know, people would post that stuff.

Perhaps with some sense of irony, a video shared by employees acquired from a parked Tesla would have been the white Lotus Espirit underwater car featured in the James Bond film ‘The Spy Who Me loved”. The owner of the vehicle is Elon Musk and the vehicle was parked in his garage.

On one side of the argument, recording video from parked cars was a feature promoted by Tesla as “Sentry Mode”. The service launched in 2019, at the same time Tesla employees started sharing videos, and was touted as a way to alert drivers to suspicious activity around their cars. An update in 2021 allowed drivers to use their vehicle’s cameras to livestream their car’s surroundings from the Tesla app.

The edge reported that Tesla promised that Sentry Mode recordings were not sent to them and that live recordings were supposed to be end-to-end encrypted and could not be viewed by the company. Given the videos shared by employees, this is clearly not true.

That Tesla collects vehicle videos is nothing new, but the company promises customers that privacy “is and always will be extremely important to us” and that the in-car camera is “designed from the ground up to protect your privacy. “. It is also, arguably, an outright lie, given the Reuters report.

Tesla did not respond, but if and when it does, it could argue that the data had legitimate uses and that only a small number of employees breached customer privacy. If that’s his argument, it’s not wrong, but the behavior had been going on for years, with the videos widely shared across the company. At some point, Tesla could and apparently should have stopped sharing the videos.

Pictures: Saud Al-Olayan/Flickr, Oast House Archive/Geographer

Show your support for our mission by joining our Cube Club and our Cube Event community of experts. Join the community that includes Amazon Web Services and Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, ​​Dell Technologies Founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, and many other luminaries and experts.

Leave a Comment