From 2019 until at least mid-2022, Tesla employees used an internal messaging system to share “highly invasive videos and images captured by cameras in customers’ vehicles,” according to a Tesla ex. According to a detailed Reuters report based on interviews with nine employees.
Tesla says its in-vehicle cameras are “designed from the ground up to protect your privacy,” but a Reuters report today says employees can easily access the camera’s output and share it with other employees. It explains that it can be freely shared with members.
Some recordings put Tesla customers in embarrassing situations. A former employee described a video of a man approaching a car naked.
Also shared: crashes and load rage incidents. Another former employee said one crash video of him in 2021 showed a Tesla car speeding through a residential neighborhood and crashing into a child on a bicycle. Children flew in one direction, and bicycles in another. The video spread “like wildfire” through his private one-on-one chats at Tesla’s San Mateo, Calif., office, the former employee said.
“Employees posted pictures of dogs and funny street signs embellished with funny captions and commentary into memes in private group chats.” .
One former employee described the “scandalous stuff” as including “intimate scenes instead of nudity” and “certain laundry, certain sexual health items…and private scenes of life that we really knew.” reported that he saw The car was charging. On the other hand, one “former employee saw nothing wrong with sharing images, but the ability to allow data labelers to view record locations on Google Maps was It was described as a ‘massive invasion of privacy’.”
As noted by Reuters, Tesla’s customer privacy notice states that “camera recordings remain anonymous and are not linked to you or your vehicle.” A former employee of Tesla told Reuters, “The computer programs they used at work could point to the location of the recordings, which could reveal where the Tesla owner lived. “I could see inside people’s garages and private properties,” one former employee told Reuters.
Masked James Bond car shared photo
Reuters also said that German data privacy lawyer Carlo Pilz said that internal sharing of videos and images would not be allowed under European rules if it “has nothing to do with providing a safe and secure vehicle or function.” He said it would be difficult to justify.
Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s garage wasn’t off limits. About three years ago, an employee “shared a video of a unique submersible parked in the garage.” It turned out to be James’s Bond movie car, which Mr. Musk bought at auction in 2013 for $968,000. Either knew the video or knew it was shared,” Reuters wrote.
Employees who label Tesla data “sometimes shared screenshots and marked them up using Adobe Photoshop in private group chats on Mattermost, Tesla’s internal messaging system.” Other employees “add their own marked-up images, jokes, or emojis to keep the conversation going.”
Not sure if sharing stopped
Reuters reports that it has contacted more than 300 former Tesla employees who worked on the company’s self-driving system. More than a dozen people agreed to answer questions on condition of anonymity.
Reuters said it was unable to obtain the shared videos or images that the former employee said he did not have. We also couldn’t determine whether or how widespread the record-sharing that had occurred in some parts of Tesla until last year is still going on. , asking his colleagues or superiors for help, etc. ”
Reuters reported that Tesla executives “cracked down on Mattermost’s alleged sharing of inappropriate images on its public channels as a violation of company policy.”
One practice was discontinued that included video from a parked car. “One former employee also said it appeared that some records were made when the car was parked and turned off. A few years ago, Tesla said that if the owner agreed, the car could be turned off. We were receiving video recordings from the vehicle even when it was on…it has since stopped…doing so,” Reuters wrote.
I contacted Tesla today. I will update this article when I get an answer. Reuters said it had contacted Musk by sending “detailed questions” to Tesla, but had not received a response.