employees secretly shared videos filmed without drivers’ knowledge

According to Reuters, Tesla employees secretly watched and passed on “intimate” video recorded by Tesla car cameras, despite the company claiming the cameras are “designed from the ground up to protect your privacy”.

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Tesla employees circulated videos taken in car owners’ private garages and other recordings captured by the company’s in-vehicle cameras without the knowledge of the owners, reported Reuters. Former employees told the agency that colleagues of theirs had shared the images in group chats and individual communications between 2019 and last year.

Tesla uses cameras in its vehicles for various features related to autonomous driving, including Autopilot, Smart Summon and Autopark. They also activate the Sentry Mode surveillance system that films people approaching a parked Tesla and other seemingly suspicious activity.

Tesla employees may have spied on Elon Musk

Employees who had access to camera footage were known as taggers. Their job is to train Tesla’s artificial intelligence system to recognize objects and pedestrians. At the San Mateo offices, sharing images and memes created from images earned points, according to employees. “ Those promoted to leadership positions shared many of these fun elements and gained notoriety through their humor. “, explains a former labeller.

One of the videos circulating among employees would also show a submersible white Lotus Esprit that appeared in the 1977 film by James Bond The Spy Who Loved Me. It turns out that Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased this vehicle about a decade ago, suggesting that his employees were circulating footage that a vehicle had captured in his garage.

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According to company employees, other footage even showed a naked man walking towards a vehicle, and even worse, footage of a speeding Tesla hitting a kid on a bike. The latter spread “like wildfire,” said a former employee. ” We could see them doing laundry and very intimate things. We could see their children said one of nine former employees who recounted the practice to the news agency.

Read also – Tesla: Autopilot is a misleading name according to this American official

Tesla claims not to use videos maliciously

In its Privacy Policy, Tesla assures its customers that it does not associate vehicle data generated by driving with the identity of drivers, and does not share customers’ location or activities with anyone. Tesla owners can consent to data sharing, which allows camera recordings to be shared with the company. Even if customers give their consent, recordings are meant to remain anonymous and not be linked to any individual, unless the company receives the images due to a security-related eventsuch as an accident or the deployment of an airbag.

Nonetheless, an employee said it was possible for Tesla’s data taggers to see the location of captured footage on Google Maps.

The practice of image sharing was a violation of privacy, to be honest said one of the former employees. ” And I always joked that I would never buy a Tesla after seeing how they treated some of these people “. Whether or not Tesla will respond to these serious accusations remains to be seen.

This is far from the first time that Tesla has been caught up in a privacy scandal. A few months ago, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) launched an investigation into the Sentinel mode cameras, after the institution ruled that they could represent a violation of data protection laws. Protection of private life. However, the charges were eventually dropped.

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