Massive Tesla Privacy Breach Exposes Culture of Cruelty and Customer Abuse

Privacy in a Tesla vehicle is non-existent, apparently. Interesting to think Tesla customers actually paid for this treatment.

…between 2019 and 2022, groups of Tesla employees privately shared via an internal messaging system sometimes highly invasive videos and images recorded by customers’ car cameras, according to interviews by Reuters with nine former employees.

Some of the recordings caught Tesla customers in embarrassing situations. One ex-employee described a video of a man approaching a vehicle completely naked.

Also shared: crashes and road-rage incidents. One crash video in 2021 showed a Tesla driving at high speed in a residential area hitting a child riding a bike, according to another ex-employee. The child flew in one direction, the bike in another. The video spread around a Tesla office in San Mateo, California, via private one-on-one chats, “like wildfire,” the ex-employee said.

Video recordings were being made and then viewed by Tesla staff even when a car was parked, even when a car was turned off. In other words, the cameras are billed as safety devices, yet they potentially were on all the time and without Tesla owners being aware.

Tesla states in its online “Customer Privacy Notice” that its “camera recordings remain anonymous and are not linked to you or your vehicle.” But seven former employees told Reuters the computer program they used at work could show the location of recordings – which potentially could reveal where a Tesla owner lived.

One ex-employee also said that some recordings appeared to have been made when cars were parked and turned off. Several years ago, Tesla would receive video recordings from its vehicles even when they were off, if owners gave consent. It has since stopped doing so.

It has stopped? Prove that is true.

[Investigators have not been] able to determine if the practice of sharing recordings, which occurred within some parts of Tesla as recently as last year, continues today or how widespread it was.

There is no reason for Tesla staff to be pulling up videos of the inside of people’s garages from parked cars that have been turned off, especially given personally identifiable data and how the frames will have absolutely nothing to do with safety. It seems like a culture of abuse and little more.

If this were a hospital, for example, we’d be talking about doctors and nurses who engage in grossly negligent safety practices, violating patient privacy at large scale.

“We could see inside people’s garages and their private properties,” said another former employee. “Let’s say that a Tesla customer had something in their garage that was distinctive, you know, people would post those kinds of things.” […] About three years ago, some employees stumbled upon and shared a video of a unique [object] inside a garage, according to two people who viewed it.

Stumbled? Like the employees were drunk?

Two ex-employees said they weren’t bothered by the sharing of images, saying that customers had given their consent or that people long ago had given up any reasonable expectation of keeping personal data private. Three others, however, said they were troubled by it.

“It was a breach of privacy, to be honest. And I always joked that I would never buy a Tesla after seeing how they treated some of these people,” said one former employee.

Another said: “I’m bothered by it because the people who buy the car, I don’t think they know that their privacy is, like, not respected … We could see them doing laundry and really intimate things. We could see their kids.”

Drunk with cruelty from abuse of power. In related news, Gartner is strongly advising companies to “weaponize” privacy — encouraging competitors to shoot Tesla dead.

“Weaponise privacy as a prospect conversation tool and a competitive advantage,” said Neubauer. “By making privacy a key part of your customer value proposition, privacy has become a conviction-based motivator for buyers. Just as people reach for organic or cruelty-free products, consumers are willing to go out of their way, and in some instances, pay a premium for a product they believe will care best for their data.”

Cruelty-free products? Pretty sure Gartner just defined Tesla as a cruel and worthless product that doesn’t care for privacy.

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