The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) carried out an inquiry into the Sentry Mode of Tesla cars, a feature designed to guard against theft and vandalism, amongst other criminal activity. The cameras located outside the vehicle used to record constantly for an hour, but since recent software updates have been made, these cameras are switched off by default. In addition, if activated, only the past 10 minutes of footage is stored.
Tesla informed the DPA of changes enacted since the launch of their investigation. As an example, the car will now only activate when touched rather than as soon as any suspicious activity is detected. People are alerted on their phones before filming begins, and a message appears on the car’s interior screen and its headlights flash when recording. This lets anyone around it know that it might be capturing them.
Though no fines or sanctions were given to the company itself, due to the legal implications surrounding the owner’s responsibility for images taken, it is clear that Tesla has taken a responsible approach to protecting its customers’ safety and privacy interests.