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Tesla location data--and ethics and law around it's being shared

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by wavefront, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. wavefront

    wavefront New Member

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    Would love to hear folks' opinions on the following: Our daughter mentioned to us that a dark blue Tesla slammed into her car door in San Francisco a few days back and then sped away as she got out to check the damage. She has precise time, date, GPS (37.741747, -122.422665), description of car, but not the plate. Tesla captures GPS data as part of its service, but such data is private. I imagine that legal colleagues could weigh in on legal arguments on police requesting access to this precision-guided data, versus working hard to protect it. I have mixed feelings myself as a privacy-centric person--and would like to protect Tesla owners and others from having their locations disclosed. However, my lower brain would love to catch this fella and engage him (it was a he) on the situation. What are peoples' thoughts on this?
     
  2. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I totally understand where you are coming from. I expect it is only a matter of time before laws are enacted compelling companies to release this data. In some cases, it may well be the right thing to do, especially if a life is involved. But I have no confidence whatsoever that it will properly managed. Apple and other have gotten around this by claiming they can't decrypt the data on phones. But this is different. Encryption or not, Tesla does know exactly where and when our cars are at all times, along with a treasure trove of other valuable and potentially incriminating data for the ne'er do wells.

    Hello 1984 and Brave New World.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The only recourse we have is to elect politicians that aren't tied to the military-industrial complex. That gives us a slim chance.
     
  4. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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  5. wavefront

    wavefront New Member

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    Hit and run--

    Well, my daughter turned to me as an enthusiastic P85D owner (btw, one of the last one painted this color), to see if I had insights, and I felt embarrassed for all of the Tesla community that one of the Tesla owners (or whomever was driving the car that day) would be involved in a hit and run, especially when the GPS data, including collision information, is known widely as being tracked in a database.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Had a little glitch there... was referring to my dark green P85D, one of the last off the assembly line--negotiated with the factory as a dark green earthtone even after the formal discontinuation of that color.
     
  6. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I ain't a lawyer, so take this with a generous helping of sodium chloride:

    Many statutes are written either poorly or too vague to give the average citizen a good understanding as to what is allowed and what is not. Then the law is subject to the interpretation of the particular parties involved: A trial lawyer for a civil matter, and law enforcement/district attorney for a criminal matter. Maybe the information can be subpoenaed; maybe not. Maybe the data can be viewed pursuant to a search warrant. Then, the recipient has the option of trying to quash the subpoena or challenge the warrant. Regardless, this will have to go in front of a judge to make a final determination as to what and how much data are released. Then, maybe the losing party will appeal the trial court's decision, and maybe after many years there will be case law to guide us.

    In short, this is a very complex area, trying to weigh the privacy of individuals against "the greater good," however we wish to define it. Moreover, as we see time and again with law enforcement, it is not so much that they have access to certain information, it is what the law enforcement agency does with that information that crosses the line from routine police work into something else.
     
  7. wavefront

    wavefront New Member

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    Thanks. Great answer.


     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    For the sake of argument, let's say they did tell you what car they though was there at that time...
    Then what? Would you be able to convince the police to go find them?
    And if they got found, and accused and said "no it wasn't me... prove it"... Then lawyers could start debating if the GPS data was accurate enough to be used for such a purpose.
    It seems like it could turn into a quagmire of burden of proof situations.
    I doubt Tesla would want to get themselves involved in such a thing. There isn't much benefit to them.
     
  9. wavefront

    wavefront New Member

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    Good points. It also skims along a "slippery slope" on privacy versus responsibility and the law.

    Well, perhaps that driver of a dark-blue SF-based Tesla who was at those coordinates on that day (or a friend of his) is a Tesla Motors Club reader--and he would come to step forward on his own with a discrete apology ("I don't know what came over me after I hit that young lady's car--sorry.") or would anonymously send my daughter the dollars that she is out given the deductible on her car. You never know--that would be better than going through a big legal process (as interesting a case as this might be)--and would raise my appreciation for the humanity of my fellow Tesla drivers.

     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Whoa. At first I thought you were telling the other half of THIS story. But it doesn't quite fit. Unlucky parking lot encounter captured on dashcam

    Blue Model S, same area, parking lot, same time frame, dad had a Model S ... but different details that make it clear it isn't the same (she stuck around and showed remorse).
     
  11. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    From my analysis Tesla doesn't capture GPS data unless the app requests it. Of course they can ping the car at any time, but my testing has shown they don't.
     
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    While I haven't looked at the network traffic, I also believe the same to be true. When I've filed a support case in the past regarding GPS, they asked for my permission to capture some of the future location data, they were not able to go back and pull the past data, and that I'd have to reproduce the problem.
     

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