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How can I protect my privacy with a Tesla?

Hello all,

I can finally see the path toward financing and purchasing (almost certainly) a CPO Tesla Model S in the months ahead. One thing I've wondered about for a while, as I get closer to purchase, is what kind of control I will have over the data about me and my driving that Tesla will have.

For example, I'm already strongly opposed to giving Google any more information about me than it already has. But I know/think the Tesla's maps come from Google Maps. Also, I know the Tesla is full of cameras; even the 2016 Model S that I'm focused on has cameras.

So, what (if any) are my options to constrain the amount of location and video information about me and my driving that my Tesla is collecting that goes off to Tesla or Google in normal driving? (I get that some information may be more available in a crash, but I'm thinking about day-to-day.)

Thanks for any inputs!

Todd
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
6,011
7,258
Snohomish, WA
You can certainly opt-out of the main data collection. This includes the videos from the camera that are sent to the mothership to have them improve the AP driving.

You can also disable remote access you want to give up features that rely on it. This prevents Tesla from seeing where the car is.

If you're really obsessed you can physically disable the LTE connection.

FYI - Tesla is a bit tricky when it comes to map data. The maps it shows is from Google, but the actual maps used for routing is from OpenStreetmaps.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,102
9,193
Visalia, CA
...So, what (if any) are my options to constrain the amount of location and video information about me and my driving that my Tesla is collecting that goes off to Tesla or Google in normal driving? (I get that some information may be more available in a crash, but I'm thinking about day-to-day.)

I think the best way to keep privacy is to not buying something that has the capability of tracking you.

That means instead of buying a very secured smart iPhone that no one can hack in, I would use a dumb phone that doesn't have the capability of taking pictures, texting...

That's the same with Tesla. Although it assures you that it does not track you individually and you can go to your car's screen display to opt-out video recording but if there's a subpoena from the court, I think Tesla can supply the court your car's data.

I think Tesla can still track you when you turn off "remote access". Otherwise, how would it know it's time for your car to get a software update...
 

Chaserr

Hyperactive Hyperdrive
Sep 5, 2017
2,666
6,524
Logan
Pull the SIM and don't set up Wifi. This is also the only way to be sure you will keep Tesla from forcing updates onto your car, and that only works as long as you can avoid service. They will pull your logs if you bring the car in.
 

Brettski

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2018
256
191
Palm Desert, CA
One thing that’s a little tricky is if others in your family have app access -which you’d want any other driver to have. But - if you’re somewhere on a stealthy errand (buying a gift?) or perhaps another scenario in which you’d prefer your location to be private - they could easily see your car’s location. I’m surprised Tesla has not provided a work-around for this.
 
Thanks to everyone for their replies.

I guess maybe I should ask a few specific questions.

First, does Tesla automatically have access to any video feeds (or derivative data, like the words read off street signs I pass) that the Tesla naturally creates as it drives along? If so, are these identifiable to Tesla as being from MY car?

Second, does Tesla automatically have access to routes I am driving or have driven (either just by plain "driving" or because I asked for point-to-point directions)? If so, are these identifiable to Tesla as being from MY car?

Finally, are there obfuscations of any of these (as Apple executes by assigning random ID numbers to users, etc when you ask for Maps routes) that apply or can be activated through settings?

Thanks!
 

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