Tesla to notify customers in Germany of potential Sentry Mode privacy risk

Tesla will now warn customers in Germany that Sentry Mode may infringe on local data privacy laws. The warning comes after Tesla was sued by consumer group vzbv for not notifying users about the privacy risks.

The vzbv lawsuit claimed that Tesla misled consumers by not informing them in advertising that using the feature in public spaces could lead to filming passers-by without their knowledge and violate data protection regulation. After a hearing in Berlin, Tesla issued a cease-and-desist declaration stating it would no longer advertise that way. (via Reuters)

Tesla’s manual in Canada and the US states that it is the driver’s responsibility to consult and comply with local regulations and property restrictions regarding the use of cameras. A spokesperson for Berlin’s data protection agency said that drivers are responsible for turning off cameras in public spaces. The spokesperson added that responsibility would extend to Tesla if the automaker transmitted and stored images.

The ruling in Germany follows a similar ruling in the Netherlands in February in which the Dutch Data Protection Agency (DPA) decided not to fine Tesla and attributed responsibility for filming to the driver.

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