Two US Senators have slammed Elon Musk-run Tesla for user privacy violation after reports surfaced that its employees shared video footage captured by its customers` vehicles of car crashes, road rage incidents, and other potentially embarrassing clips.
Democrats Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) accused the electric car maker of showing “willful disregard” for its customers` privacy, after a Reuters report raised “serious questions about Tesla`s management practices.”
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“According to an alarming new press report, Tesla employees have shared private photos and videos captured by cameras in Tesla customers` vehicles. Although vehicle cameras have the potential to improve safety, these features do not need to come at the expense of consumer privacy, they wrote to Tesla.
Tesla vehicles capture huge amounts of consumer data, including videos and still images. For example, Tesla vehicles are equipped with multiple cameras, which record videos outside the vehicle and transmit those recordings to Tesla to train Tesla’s autonomous driving software.
These cameras also capture vast amounts of footage that reveal information about people inside and outside the vehicles, including sensitive information about the personal lives, belongings, and location of Tesla owners and the public.
According to the media report, for years, “groups of Tesla employees” shared highly invasive videos and images from customers` vehicles — without their consent or notification — including images and videos displaying their homes, their children, and other details of their daily lives, and in some cases, traumatic events such as crashes and severe child injury.
“This apparent willful disregard for the privacy of Tesla customers is unacceptable and raises serious questions about Tesla`s management practices,” said the senators, urging the company to ensure that any images or videos consensually collected from Tesla vehicles are subject to strict privacy safeguards. .