Although Tesla ensures that the privacy of its customers “is and always will be enormously important to us”, in recent days it has been dotted with a scandal that with the passing of the hours is getting bigger and bigger. And it is that, according to several former employees of the company interviewed by Reutersbetween 2019 and 2022 some workers shared intimate images of users taken by their own cars in their internal chats.
As with other brand vehicles, cars made by Tesla have a suite of cameras around the perimeter (and even in the cabin) as part of the detection hardware necessary for the operation of the security assistants and the semi-autonomous driving system Autopilot.
Since 2016, Tesla employs hundreds of people to tag images with the aim of helping their vehicles to recognize pedestrians, signs, garage doors and other elements that a car can find in circulation. In order for artificial intelligence systems to “learn” to perform automated tasks, taggers need to have access to videos taken by cars.
Although it is assumed that the privacy of the users is respected during this process, this does not appear to be the case at Tesla. Most of the shared images (dogs, traffic signs, etc.) were turned into memes by the workers, but others showed people in compromising situations. For example, in one of the uploaded recordings, a man could be seen approaching the vehicle completely naked.
A serious breach of privacy
The employees also shared in their groups an accident that took place in 2021, in which a high-speed car could be observed hitting a child who was riding a bicycle. This video was broadcast at a Tesla office in San Mateo (California) through private chats “like a wildfire”as explained by one of the former workers.
Although Tesla claims that the recordings taken by the cameras “they remain anonymous and are not linked to you or your vehicle”seven of the former employees point out that the program they used showed the location where the images were takenwhich could reveal the user’s address, for example.
“We could see inside people’s garages and their private property.. TO Sometimes I saw some scandalous things, you know, scenes of intimacy, but not nudity. And there were definitely a lot of things I wouldn’t want anyone to see about my life.”
Source | Reuters