Tesla Employees Allegedly Shared Customer Videos

Footage shared included incidents of nudity and road rage
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2023 10:10 AM CDT
Lawsuit: Tesla Employees Shared Customer Videos
A Tesla Model Y Long Range is displayed at the Tesla Gallery in Troy, Mich.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

A class-action suit filed in federal court in California alleges that Tesla employees have been passing around videos from customers' car cameras and mocking them over the footage. The suit alleges that over the course of three years, Tesla employees inappropriately shared photos and videos from the cameras without consent—thereby violating California privacy law, reports the Washington Post. The footage from 2019 to 2022 reportedly included images of children, crashes, road rage, and potentially embarrassing moments, per the Verge. The employees allegedly weren't watching the videos to improve safety or anything like that; instead, the viewing was for the "tasteless and tortious entertainment" of Tesla employees and potentially others outside the company, per the suit.

The suit was filed following an exclusive Reuters report about the video sharing. Citing interviews with nine former Tesla employees, Reuters told of one employee seeing video in which a "completely naked" man approached a vehicle. Other footage reportedly included an accident that occurred in 2021 in which a fast-moving Tesla struck a child on a bike, the kid flying one way and the bike in the opposite direction. Reuters described the video as spreading "like wildfire" via employee chats taking place inside Tesla offices in San Mateo, California. The Post reports that anyone who leased or owned a Tesla from 2019 on can join the suit, which requests that the court compel the EV giant to cease recording, sharing, and viewing customers' footage and destroy any related personal data.

The lawsuit was filed by San Francisco resident Henry Yeh. He reportedly owns a 2022 Tesla Model Y equipped with a driver-facing camera and eight additional cameras that record the vehicle's surroundings. Yeh alleges that these cameras have the potential to capture footage inside customers' homes or garages without their consent. (More Tesla stories.)

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