Tesla Employees Have Been Meme-ing Your Private Car Videos

“We could see inside people’s garages and their private properties,” a former employee told Reuters. “Let’s say that a Tesla customer had something in their garage that was distinctive, you know, people would post those kinds of things.”

One office in particular, located in San Mateo, reportedly had a “free-wheeling” atmosphere, where employees would share videos and images with wild abandon. These pics or vids would often be “marked-up” via Adobe photoshop, former employees said, converting drivers’ personal experiences into memes that would circulate throughout the office.

“The people who buy the car, I don’t think they know that their privacy is, like, not respected,” one former employee was quoted as saying. “We could see them doing laundry and really intimate things. We could see their kids.”

Another former employee seemed to admit that all of this was very uncool: “It was a breach of privacy, to be honest. And I always joked that I would never buy a Tesla after seeing how they treated some of these people,” the employee told the news outlet. Yes, it’s always a vote of confidence when a company’s own employees won’t use the products that they sell.

Privacy concerns related to Tesla’s data-guzzling autos aren’t exactly new. Back in 2021, the Chinese government formally banned the vehicles on the premises of certain military installations, calling the company a “national security” threat. The Chinese were worried that the cars’ sensors and cameras could be used to funnel data out of China and back to the U.S. for the purposes of espionage. Beijing seems to have been on to something—although it might be the case that the spying threat comes less from America’s spooks than it does from bored slackers back at Tesla HQ.

One of the reasons that Tesla’s cameras seem so creepy is that you can never really tell if they’re on or not. A couple of years ago, a stationary Tesla helped catch a suspect in a Massachusetts hate crime, when its security system captured images of the man slashing tires in the parking lot of a predominantly Black church. The man was later arrested on the basis of the photos.

Reuters notes that it wasn’t ultimately “able to determine if the practice of sharing recordings, which occurred within some parts of Tesla as recently as last year, continues today or how widespread it was.”

With all this in mind, you might as well always assume that your Tesla is watching, right? And, now that Reuters’ story has come out, you should also probably assume that some bored coder is also watchingpotentially in the hopes of converting your dopiest in-car moment into a meme.


Wow, who knew? How surprising… not.

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