Do Tesla actually spy on YOU? Your privacy concerns answered

Do Tesla actually spy on YOU? Your privacy concerns addressed after staff accessed dashcam footage of NAKED driver

  •  Tesla vehicles each have 8 or 9 cameras located in several areas of the vehicle
  •  Tesla support claims staff cannot access footage captured by these cameras
  •  Users can turn off these functions manually

Tesla staffers have been exposed sharing videos of customers with the cars’ integrated dashcams. 

Clips, which were recorded between 2019 and 2022, included road rage incidents, graphic crashes, and even a naked man approaching the car. 

The clips were recorded using the cars’ integrated dashcams, which were able to record while the cars charged. 

The incident has raised privacy concerns about how much the cameras record and who ends up viewing the recordings. 

Most Tesla models have 8 or 9 cameras in the locations showed in this graphic, including a cabin camera in the rear-view mirror

Do Tesla cars record you?

Tesla cars have eight cameras equipped, many of which are used to aid self-driving and parking. 

‘No one but you would have knowledge of your activities,’ Tesla’s privacy policy said. 

The cameras can record video footage of the car’s surroundings and footage of crashes. 

Some models also include a cabin camera located above the rear view mirror. 

This camera is designed to measure the driver’s inattentiveness and provide alerts that remind the driver to keep their eyes on the road when the car’s Autopilot is on.

The cameras record while the the car is turned powered on and while driving. Employees in the Reuters report also alleged they record while the car is charging. 

The footage can be viewed by accessing the Tesla app and going into the security tab.  

How does it work? 

Tesla cars use integrated dashcams to enable Sentry Mode, launched in 2019 to monitor suspicious activity around the vehicles, according to Tesla’s owner’s manual for its Model 3 car. ‘Sentry mode is designed to add another layer of protection to your vehicle, but it will not prevent all possible threats,’ Tesla support wrote. 

The dashcam must be properly installed and equipped with a USB drive for Sentry Mode to work. 

Tesla staffers alleged in the Reuters report that the cameras record street signs and other landmarks to determine the driver’s location. Staffers said this included where the drivers lived. 

Tesla vehicles come equipped with integrated cameras, which can be disabled in settings

How can the footage be accessed by staff?

Tesla support claims Sentry Mode recordings are not shared with its staff but can be viewed by the car owner. 

‘For 2018 and newer model year vehicles (with software version 2020.48.5 or newer), recordings are saved to onboard memory and can be viewed directly from the vehicle’s touchscreen. 

Sentry Mode can also operate in a similar manner without a USB drive installed, with the ability to send an alert to your phone if a threat is detected—however, recordings of the event will not be available,’ Tesla support read. 

Support does not clarify if staff can look at the footage, just that they allegedly do not.  

Tesla support also claims that dashcam recordings are not shared with staff. ‘All recorded video is stored locally to your USB drive and not transmitted to us,’ support wrote. 

Is there anything you can do to prevent it? 

The functions are switched on by default, but neither Sentry Mode nor dashcam footage are required for driving a Tesla. 

Sentry Mode can be disabled manually from Tesla’s control panel by going into the safety menu and selecting ‘Sentry mode.’ 

Dashcam footage will not be captured if the device is not installed.

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