When it was discovered that Tesla employees were sharing internal confidential films, a lawsuit for a class action has now been launched against the company.
On Thursday, Reuters released the initial report. Some Tesla employees who spoke with Reuters claimed that private or group discussions among staff at Tesla were used to share dash camera and sentry mode videos.
These pictures and videos included scenes from inside garages, of the owners’ children, and even one showing a man approaching a car while unclothed. They also included shots of dogs, amusing street signs, and other innocent material.
The majority of data is processed immediately on vehicles, and only specific data is shared with Tesla, according to a more in-depth analysis of Tesla’s data privacy strategy that was recently revealed. Unless linked to a “safety critical incident,” the majority of such data is anonymised.
However, the paper contends that despite the fact that Tesla claims to have anonymized data, these films may have been associated with personally identifying information, such as addresses, when it was shared in internal group conversations.
Now, one legal firm has already reacted quickly to these accusations by bringing a class action complaint just one day after the disclosure. On behalf of Henry Yeh, a Tesla consumer in San Francisco, the complaint was submitted to the United States District Court in Northern California by the law firm Fitzgerald Joseph LLP.
The corporation is accused of breaking the state constitution of California, state privacy rules, along with its own privacy standards, according to the lawsuit. Tesla allegedly misled customers regarding data privacy, according to the claim. In addition to asking for an injunction to stop Tesla from acting in this way, it also demands compensation for actual and exemplary damages. There is no list of the damages requested, but it is stated that they exceed $5 million.
According to the lawsuit, Tesla customers could incur considerable potential fees connected to privacy. The owner would have to pay a specialist to turn off the car’s cameras, which would reduce the functionality that can be purchased for the vehicle. According to a former Tesla employee cited by Insider, he temporarily covered his own car’s cameras with tape after seeing how much information Tesla had access to.
A class action lawsuit, however, has more steps to take after this. First off, access to the relevant evidence will be granted later during discovery, not at this time, when the law firm is submitting this.
As the Reuters piece was only published yesterday, the complaint makes assumptions, claiming that although it is not stated clearly in the report, it is “probable” that these films were shared externally. The firm’s desire to be the first to make a claim towards this potential suit makes the decision to file the complaint so quickly look a little opportunistic.
A judge must also determine whether this is a valid class action and if Fitzgerald Joseph LLP can continue to represent the class.