A Tesla owner in California filed a potential class action lawsuit against the electric carmaker on Friday, accusing it of violating customers’ privacy.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California after Reuters reported on Thursday that between 2019 and 2022, groups of Tesla employees privately shared sometimes highly invasive videos and images recorded by customers’ car cameras via an internal messaging system.
The lawsuit, filed by Henry Yeh, a San Francisco resident who owns a Tesla Model Y, claims that Tesla employees had access to the images and videos for their “tasteless and tortious entertainment” and “humiliation of those secretly recorded.”
“Like any reasonable person, Mr. Yeh was outraged at the prospect of Tesla’s cameras being used to violate his family’s privacy, which the California Constitution scrupulously protects,” Jack Fitzgerald, an attorney representing Yeh, said in a statement to Reuters.
“Tesla must be held accountable for these invasions and for misleading him and other Tesla owners about its lax privacy practices,” Fitzgerald said.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
According to the lawsuit, Tesla’s behavior is “particularly egregious” and “highly offensive.”
It stated that Yeh was filing the complaint “on behalf of himself, similarly situated class members, and the general public” against Tesla. According to the complaint, the prospective class would include people who owned or leased a Tesla within the last four years.
According to Reuters, some Tesla employees witnessed customers “doing laundry and really intimate things.” “We could see their kids,” a former employee said.
“Indeed, one of the most fundamental liberty interests societies recognizes is parents’ interest in their children’s privacy,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit requests that the court “enjoin Tesla from engaging in wrongful behavior, including violating customers’ and others’ privacy, and to recover actual and punitive damages.”