Private Photos and Videos from Tesla Cars Shared Amongst Employees
We go through life knowing that we’re being surveilled in different ways. Security cameras dot the urban landscape on store walls, sidewalks, parking lots, and more. Most of the time, we don’t worry about how that footage is stored or used—but news related to Tesla surveillance footage might make you think differently. At the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates, where we focus on violations of consumers’ privacy rights in Southern California, we find stories like this particularly alarming.
To understand this story, it’s important to know how Tesla surveillance cameras work. Per Tesla, the cameras only begin recording when a significant threat is detected. However, some news sources indicate that Tesla cars record 360 degrees around the vehicle when parked, which means that anyone could unwittingly end up in dashcam footage.
If your right to privacy has been violated, your next call should be to the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates. Robin Perry was recently chosen to be a civil rights subject matter expert for the Nation Magazine, highlighting his expertise in this area. Schedule your free consultation now by calling us at 562-216-2944.
Previous Employees Spoke Out About Unethical Use of Images
A surprising amount of privacy violations seem to come to light because of past employees, and this latest Tesla controversy is just one more example of that. In this case, nine former employees alerted the media to the misuse of private images.
Even footage taken when the car was in operation is questionable to many privacy watchdogs. They claim that passersby, pedestrians, and other drivers do not consent to the constant recording feature found in Teslas. When you think about the footage collected and how employees used it, it’s clear why people may be uncertain about being filmed.
What Did Cameras Capture?
Cameras captured a wide array of photos and videos. In some, footage of crashes and road rage episodes were circulated among employees. In other cases, photos and videos of drivers’ private homes were shared by employees. How many of us leave the door from our home to our garage open in order to unload cargo, get ready for trips, or otherwise streamline important tasks? Teslas have recorded consumers in this private environment, in some cases capturing photos of drivers’ children or even naked individuals.
How did employees use this footage? It’s hard to say, since only a few employees from that timeframe—2019-2022—have come forward. Those who did come forward say that some clips were passed around for people to laugh at or comment on, some photos were turned into memes or reaction images, and others were shared for shock value. Even in the most innocuous case, this is alarming. Yes, it’s great to see a cute photo of a dog come across your desk—but did the owner of that dog know that a picture was even being taken, much less that the picture would be circulated among dozens or hundreds of employees? This is an obvious misuse of the data that Tesla employees had access to.
Tesla Embroiled in Controversy
These allegations come to light in the midst of other Tesla controversies, complicating matters for shareholders, employees, and executives. Data privacy laws in Germany are strict enough that using sentry mode could violate the law. In some parts of China, Teslas are completely banned because of filming issues.
While the employees in question only reported these issues occurring from 2019 to 2022, that’s just because they left in 2022. There’s no way of knowing whether or not these issues are ongoing, and consumers deserve answers. Even those who do not drive Teslas deserve to know whether or not they are constantly being recorded whenever they are in the vicinity of a Tesla.
Contact the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates to speak with a Consumer Rights Attorney If Your Privacy Has Been Violated
Your right to privacy is a crucial part of your freedom. It’s natural to feel unsafe and suspicious when that right has been infringed upon—as an example, consider Apple’s plan to scan messages and photos for inappropriate content of minors. Our consumer rights lawyers are here to help you protect your privacy and demand justice from those who would overstep your rights. Call us at 562-216-2944 or reach out online to set up a consultation right away.
Attorney Robin D. Perry has been part of the Long Beach Community for over 25 years handling business litigation, employment litigation and advising, criminal defense, personal injury and code enforcement defense for businesses.