February 27, 2024

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The lawsuit says Tesla employees shared private footage of customers’ cars

Tesla employees internally shared private and sometimes embarrassing photos and videos captured by vehicle cameras without customers’ consent, violating privacy rights afforded by California law, a class action lawsuit filed Friday alleged.

The footage, taken between 2019 and 2022, included a naked man approaching a Tesla, people’s children, videos of accidents and road rage, according to a complaint filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

the lawsuit The employees allegedly did not share these images for commercial use, “but for the tasteless and tormenting entertainment of Tesla employees, possibly those outside the company, and to insult those who were surreptitiously recorded.”

The footage has also been the subject of jokes in chat groups, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit was filed after the allegations were preliminary mentioned By Reuters on Thursday. Many of her examples were drawn from that news report.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday afternoon.

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Anyone who has owned or leased a Tesla since 2019 is eligible to join the lawsuit, which aims to force the company to reimburse customers for the cost or partial cost of their cars. The exact amount will be determined at trial.

The lawsuit also asks the court to compel Tesla to stop “recording, displaying and sharing” images captured by the vehicle’s cameras and to destroy any personal data obtained in violation of state privacy laws. The judge must first conclude that it is an appropriate class action lawsuit.

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The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Henry Yeh, a San Francisco resident who owns a 2022 Tesla Model Y. This model and several others have a driver-facing camera as well as eight cameras to capture the area around the vehicle. These cameras can take footage from the inside The lawsuit alleged clients’ homes or garages.

“No one approved Tesla employees using their photos for fun,” Jack Fitzgerald, one of Yeh’s attorneys, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Mr. Ye was shocked to learn that Tesla’s systems did not adequately protect his privacy and intends to hold Tesla responsible.”

He accidentally got into a stranger’s Tesla. He says the app allowed him to drive it.

Tesla employees shared photos of family pets in the form of memes, and distributed some of the snaps to “dozens” of colleagues, according to the complaint.

“Making these videos and photos available for Tesla employees to view and share, at will, for improper purposes affects everyone with a Tesla vehicle, their families, passengers, and even guests in their homes,” the complaint reads.

in that Customer Privacy NoticeTesla wrote that “camera recordings remain anonymous and are not associated with you or your vehicle.” The privacy notice states that if users agree to share data, Tesla will use the information to communicate with customers, perform business services, and improve its products.

The lawsuit alleges that Tesla violated that policy and customers’ right to privacy under California law by storing the recordings and then allowing employees to access and share them without customers’ consent. The lawsuit added that some of the recordings may have been made when the cars were turned off.

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