"We could see inside people's garages and their private properties."
Passing Around Videos
Employees at Tesla have secretly been watching and passing around "intimate" videos recorded by Tesla car cameras, Reuters reports, despite the company claiming that the cameras are "designed from the ground up to protect your privacy."
According to the report, employees privately shared videos on an internal messaging system, including highly invasive videos and images recorded by the cars of Tesla owners.
One former employee told Reuters that they had watched a video of a completely naked man approaching a vehicle. Another video, which reportedly spread "like wildfire" on the company's messaging boards, showed a car hitting a child on a bike, sending the child flying.
In 2019, employees even passed around a video of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's white Lotus Esprit, a car that was featured in a 1977 James Bond film, parked in his garage. It's unclear if Musk knew about the video.
Worse yet, these recordings could easily allow Tesla staff to trace back the exact locations where they were taken, even when the car was shut off, according to the report.
Illusion of Privacy
It's a highly troubling revelation that should give anybody, particularly Tesla drivers, pause. The EV maker has long promised that "camera recordings remain anonymous and are not linked to you or your vehicle" in its Customer Privacy Notice.
It sounds like a flagrant invasion of privacy, and it's still unclear if these videos were being collected for legitimate work purposes, as Reuters points out, such as training AI-powered self-driving systems like Tesla's Autopilot.
The company currently employs hundreds of data-labeling workers, who are tasked to analyze video recordings and identify objects for the company's driver assistance software.
Nonetheless, employees had access to some seriously intimate information, which ended up being sent around for no discernible reason.
"We could see inside people's garages and their private properties," one former employee told Reuters. "Let's say that a Tesla customer had something in their garage that was distinctive, you know, people would post those kinds of things."
Many former data-labeling employees told Reuters that they shared images and videos to "break the monotony" and have a laugh together, despite managers telling them off, claiming such a practice violated company policy.
Tesla disbanded its PR department back in 2020, so it's unlikely we'll hear from the company any time soon.
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