"Tesla needs to be held accountable for these invasions and for misrepresenting its lax privacy practices to him and other Tesla owners."
See You in Court
Following a shocking report about Tesla employees secretly sharing "intimate" customer images and videos taken by the cars' cameras, a Tesla owner in California has filed a prospective class action lawsuit against the EV maker for letting its employees violate customer privacy, Reuters reports.
Filed by San Francisco Model Y owner Henry Yeh, the suit called Tesla's apparent security oversight "particularly egregious" and "highly offensive."
While Reuters' original reporting about the alleged video sharing noted that the majority of the footage was relatively harmless, some of the videos did reportedly show Tesla owners' children and even a man walking towards his car in the nude. Some videos were even recorded after the car was turned off by the owner.
"Like anyone would be, Mr. Yeh was outraged at the idea that Tesla's cameras can be used to violate his family's privacy, which the California Constitution scrupulously protects," Jack Fitzgerald, the complainant's lawyer, told Reuters in a statement. "Tesla needs to be held accountable for these invasions and for misrepresenting its lax privacy practices to him and other Tesla owners."
Cover the Camera
Ex-Tesla employee John Bernal — who worked on the company's Autopilot feature and was fired last year after he posted videos airing his concerns about the software — told Insider last week that workers at the EV manufacturer could indeed see the footage from car cameras.
Bernal likened it to having a "god's eye" view, and admitted to putting tape over his own Tesla's cameras in response.
While it is possible to disable Teslas' cameras, the lawsuit notes that doing so is both difficult and ends up having a "significant impact on the functionality of the vehicle’s various safety and driver assistance features, including the Autopilot system."
This prospective lawsuit filing is only the first step in a lengthy legal process, especially given that Yeh has yet to find other people to file suit with.
But considering how upset people are — and that Tesla hasn't yet responded to requests for comment about these allegations, let alone to deny them — it's only a matter of time before others get on board.
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