Tesla is going to be changing up the way it advertises its Sentry Mode feature in Germany following a lawsuit from the Federal Consumer Association (VZBV) after a July 2022 lawsuit came to a close today.
Tesla was sued by the VZBV in July after it claimed the automaker did not correctly advertise its Sentry Mode feature, which helps record instances of vandalism or other events that occur near a vehicle.
Sentry Mode is an extremely helpful feature as it has helped foil numerous vandalism and robbery attempts in the past. However, it does not alarm those around the vehicle that they are being recorded, which has ended up violating some privacy laws in various countries, including the Netherlands and China.
It seems the case has come to a close today, however, VZBV board member Ramona Pop issued a statement regarding Tesla’s Sentry Mode and its violation of privacy laws (Translated with Google):
“Camera surveillance by third parties without their knowledge is not possible. Consumers couldn’t use Tesla’s Sentry Mode without massive data breaches. You risked a fine if the mode was activated. However, this information was missing from the Sentry mode advertisement. Tesla has now issued a cease-and-desist declaration after the hearing before the Berlin Regional Court and is no longer allowed to advertise in this way. This completes the sentry mode procedure.”
Der @vzbv hat #Tesla wegen irreführender Werbung zur Funktion des Wächter-Modus verklagt. Nach der mündlichen Verhandlung vor dem Landgericht Berlin hat Tesla die vom vzbv geforderte Untererlassungserklärung abgegeben.
— Verbraucherzentrale (@vzbv) April 4, 2023
The VZBV said the use of Sentry Mode “violates data protection laws” when it is used in public space. The story was first reported by Reuters.
Tesla will issue a cease-and-desist and warn consumers that using Sentry Mode could infringe on data privacy laws.
The VZBV also sued Tesla in regard to its claims that driving its vehicles helps with CO2 savings, saying that these statements were misleading. However, this portion of the case was ruled in favor of Tesla, and the VZBV said it will appeal that verdict.
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