AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch personal data watchdog said on Wednesday it would not fine Tesla Inc. over possible privacy violations after the U.S. carmaker made changes to vehicle security cameras.
Tesla uses such cameras in its cars to help owners protect them against theft or vandalism, but the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) investigated them as a potential violation.
“Many Teslas parked on the street were often filming everyone who came near the vehicle, and these images were being saved for a very long time. If every car were to do that, we’d have a situation where no one could go anywhere in public without being watched,” said DPA board member Katja Mur in a statement.
Tesla could not immediately be reached for comment.
The agency said Tesla had made changes to its “Sentry Mode” feature in which the cameras are activated since the DPA investigation began. These include the cars’ headlights flashing to indicate to passers-by that filming has begun and requiring approval from the car’s owners in order to begin filming.
Films are stored in the car, and not shared with Tesla, the DPA said.
The agency said as a result, the car’s owners, rather than Tesla, would be legally responsible for improper filming.
“The DPA’s investigation has not resulted in a fine or other sanction for Tesla,” it said.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Mark Potter)