A California-based Tesla owner has filed a class action lawsuit against the electric carmaker, alleging that it has violated the privacy rights of its customers. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, following reports by Reuters that groups of Tesla employees privately shared invasive videos and images captured by customers’ car cameras between 2019 and 2022.
Henry Yeh, the San Francisco resident who filed the complaint, claimed that Tesla’s employees could access the images and videos for their “tasteless and tortious entertainment” and “the humiliation of those surreptitiously recorded.” Yeh’s lawsuit accuses Tesla of misrepresenting its privacy practices to him and other Tesla owners.
According to Jack Fitzgerald, Yeh’s attorney, Tesla needs to be held accountable for these invasions of privacy. “Like anyone would be, Mr Yeh was outraged at the idea that Tesla’s cameras can be used to violate his family’s privacy, which the California Constitution scrupulously protects,” Fitzgerald said in a statement to Reuters.
The lawsuit also seeks to represent a class of individuals who have owned or leased a Tesla within the past four years. The lawsuit claims that Tesla’s conduct is “particularly egregious” and “highly offensive,” and asks the court to enjoin Tesla from violating customers’ privacy and to recover actual and punitive damages.
Tesla is yet to respond to the allegations, but the company’s reputation has been tarnished by several recent controversies, including a fatal accident involving one of its self-driving cars and an ongoing investigation into its Autopilot system. The latest lawsuit is likely to add to the company’s woes and may impact its sales and reputation in the future.