Sunday August 14, 2022

Tesla cars banned from certain Berlin police premises due to cameras

Published : 23 Jun 2022, 22:27

  DF News Desk

Several Model Y electric vehicles stand on a conveyor belt at the opening of the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin Brandenburg. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa.

Tesla cars have been prohibited from driving on certain premises of the Berlin police because the cameras built into the vehicles capture too much footage, according to an internal police memo, reported dpa.

Police fear security and data protection issues due to the fact that the cameras are constantly filming. The ban applies to police headquarters and the State Criminal Police Office (LKA), the memo said.

The video footage captured by Tesla cars is "permanently stored" on servers at Tesla's European headquarters in the Netherlands and it is not clear how it is processed, police said. Tesla decides whether data can be released.

According to the memo, police became aware of the problem in January when public broadcaster ZDF claimed that the public prosecutor's office in Berlin had received footage from Tesla showing accidents.

Contemporary cars have multiple cameras to help with parking, for example. In Teslas, eight cameras capture the entire 360-degree surrounding of the car.

The systems are used for driver assistance and semi-autonomous driving, but they also function as so-called dashcams that constantly film in order to be able to reconstruct the course of events after accidents, for example.

In addition, Tesla has been offering "sentry mode" since 2019, which owners must consciously activate. If the mode is activated, even if the car is parked, the cameras will record activities as soon as an approach alarm is triggered.