Tesla electric cars accused of spying

News hardware Tesla electric cars accused of spying

This was the risk to be taken by integrating cameras inside cars: Berlin law enforcement would have sought to prohibit the parking and circulation of Tesla vehicles near police stations. In question: the security of the data filmed the automobiles of the firm of Elon Musk.

A circular from the German police against Tesla electric cars

According to the German media The Tagesspiegel, the local police do not appreciate the cars of the manufacturer Tesla. In any case, this is what suggests the distribution of an internal note, signed by the hand of the head of Berlin security.

According to him, Tesla vehicles have ” a danger to the safety of employees, third parties (…), as well as to the buildings of the Berlin police. In this same letter, the interested party would seek to prohibit owners of a Tesla (including police officers) from parking near gendarmerie premisesinviting them to use alternative routes or to park in parking spaces out of sight.

This is to prevent ” security areas such as ammunition bunkers, civilian cars with camouflage license plates, and areas of civilian investigators or special forces are covered by Tesla cameras. »

A controversial Sentinel mode

Indeed, what poses a problem for the German police – although they have since revised their position on the subject, specifying that it was more a matter of raising awareness than of a ban – is is “Sentinel” modein English Sentry Modeincluded in Tesla vehicles.

This mode allows brand car owners to be alerted in the event of intrusion or vandalism, and to be able to provide video proof of the flagrante delicto. To do this, the vehicle employs four cameras (one front, two sides, one rear) to provide 360° surveillance.

In concrete terms, in the event of a suspicious movement, these cameras start by recording the facts on a USB storage mediumthen, if the incident persists, play sound at full volume to warn surrounding individuals and deter criminal activity.

Images stored in the Netherlands

If the fears of the Berlin authorities may seem anecdotal, they have their origin in the relative traceability of the data recorded by the Sentinel mode. These are in fact stored on Tesla servers in the Netherlandswhich raises questions for some.

In China, in particular, Tesla vehicles have been prohibited from driving in the Chinese district of Beidahe for two months, to prevent a meeting of the Communist Party leadership from being captured by the manufacturer’s cars.

Tesla had however announced that the registrations of Chinese vehicles would now be stored in a data center based in Chinabut that did not seem to be enough to reassure the local authorities.

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