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Tesla sued over workers' alleged access to car video imagery

By Agence France-Presse Published Apr 11, 2023 9:26 am

A Tesla owner is seeking class action status for a lawsuit accusing the automaker of allowing its workers to use intimate or embarrassing imagery captured by the electric vehicles for "tasteless entertainment."

San Francisco resident Henry Yeh filed the suit in federal court on Friday, in the wake of a Reuters report citing former Tesla staff who said video or pictures had been accessed from people's cars.

Tesla employees "circulated recordings of Tesla customers in private and embarrassing situations, without their consent," courtesy of sophisticated camera systems built into the cars, a court filing contended.

Examples listed in the suit included a naked man walking toward a Tesla and road-rage incidents.

A video showing a Tesla hitting a child on a bicycle quickly spread around a Tesla office in Silicon Valley, the court filing said.

It added that Tesla employees had shared pictures of people's pets, making some into "memes" embellished with commentary before being posted in group chats.

Cameras in vehicles captured "highly-invasive videos and images" which were used for "the tasteless and tortious entertainment" of Tesla employees, the suit maintained.

The activity dates back to at least 2019, according to the filing.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Tesla to stop the "wrongful behavior" and pay unspecified damages.

The suit accuses Tesla of negligence, fraud and privacy invasion.

Tesla did not reply to an AFP request for comment. (AFP)