PRIVACY Tesla Model 3 breaks European data protection law
On September 18, 2020, Tesla received the BigBrotherAward 2020 in the mobility category for that it sells cars that comprehensively protect their occupants and the long-term monitoring. The collected data are permanently evaluated and can be used for any purpose. A study shows that this is not in conformity with data protection regulations.
In a comprehensive legal opinion by the laudator Thilo Weichert, he examines the personal data processing in Tesla's Model 3 and the general terms and conditions used by the company in this context. The expert opinion comes to the conclusion that European data protection regulations and consumer protection law are violated in many respects:
- The company almost limitlessly assumes rights in data processing and uses them in a completely non-transparent form, so that neither the users or other road users nor the data protection authorities can control what happens to the sensitive mobility data.
- Tesla offers a so-called "watchdog mode", which enables the car owner to comprehensively and illegitimately monitor the environment of the car - both while driving and while parked - without Tesla acknowledging its data protection responsibility.
- Tesla is providing comprehensive vehicle usage data to the United States under the Privacy Shield, which was repealed by the European Court of Justice with immediate effect in July 2020, and is thus making this data available to U.S. authorities for mass surveillance purposes without independent controls and legal protections as required by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The German-language report comes to the conclusion that because of the way data is collected and used, Tesla vehicles might not be allowed to be delivered or registered on the German market. Thilo Weichert from the German network data protection expertise (Netzwerk Datenschutzexpertise) demands that all digital cars should be tested for data protection.