It has been revealed that multiple groups of Tesla employees shared highly-sensitive images captured from customer cars in internal chat rooms, sparking a class action lawsuit.
Originally uncovered by Reuters, employees who previously worked at the carmaker reportedly used an internal messaging system to share videos captured from its customers’ vehicle cameras between 2019 and 2022.
The cameras have various functions ranging from dash cams to being used for Tesla’s autonomous Autopilot feature. However, owners may not have been aware the manufacturer could access their vehicle’s captured footage.
Videos shared by employees ranged from road rage incidents and crashes to videos of pets and road signs but there was one instance where a man was captured walking up to a Tesla completely naked.
An employee also recalled a video of a child riding a bike being hit by a Tesla driving at speed through a residential area.
A video captured from the inside of company founder Elon Musk’s garage was even shared around, giving them a view of his car collection which included the white Lotus Esprit used in the 1977 James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Seven former employees also told Reuters that the program they used to access the footage revealed the location of recordings, meaning it could show where a Tesla owner lived.
It didn’t matter if the car was off either as it could continue recording if the owner consented. This feature has reportedly been stopped by Tesla though.
Since the original story was published last week, a Tesla owner has sued the carmaker in a class action lawsuit, accusing the company of violating its customers’ privacy.