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What data does Tesla log? And what could the authorities get if they wanted to?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by wayner, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I have started to use Visible Tesla and it is neat to see graphs of the speed that you were travelling and to see the location of your car. I believe VT polls the mother ship and stores the data in a local DB on your PC.

    But how much, if any, data does Tesla store?

    If you were in an accident could the police subpoena Tesla to see how fast you were travelling at the time?

    Could the police get access to a log of your historical GPS coordinates?
     
  2. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    During the Broder incident, Elon hinted at a "black box" that is always enabled for media but only upon request for customer vehicles. This feature logs essentially everything the car does from SpC time to climate control.

    From the telemetry standpoint, I don't believe Tesla is lawfully able to collect anything other than anonymous data. I think folks should be rightfully ticked if it turned out Tesla was keeping a massive DB on our entire history in our cars. Tesla should not be an aspiring NSA and would find themselves in murky legal waters if they were.

    For accidents, it's a different story. Most cars have the ability to store position, speed, and brake action for several seconds prior to an accident. I would expect the MS to be similar in this regard.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I think this is correct for "collecting to Tesla servers". I don't know what rules apply for data stored by the vehicle itself (think black box in airplanes).
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Member

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    Have you ever called their 800 number about a problem. First thing they say is, "Let me pull your logs." They know everything the car does by VIN and your name attached to that VIN.
     
  5. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    If they are subpoenaed, they have no choice but to give them what is requested. They know everything about what the car is doing. Everything. And they are not the only ones. Many other mfrs do too.

    Sucks, but reality today.
     
  6. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    That's different. They actually establish a live connection to the vehicle. They aren't accessing a backend DB where all this info is stored. And they need your permission.

    Really? I doubt Nissan would be able to provide my precise location at 2 pm on April 23 based on Leaf telemetry. Tesla shouldn't be storing any user specific info in their DB until it is specifically requested via a court. So, yeah, a court could probably order Tesla to track my car and ATT to track my cellphone, but surely they shouldn't be able to ask Tesla for specific data on a specific date in the past.
     
  7. bhzmark

    bhzmark Active Member

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    Not sure what people think they have to hide. More information more data is a good thing. They can learn how their customers use the car and improve the car with that knowledge.
     
  8. A.G.

    A.G. Member

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  9. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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  10. bhzmark

    bhzmark Active Member

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    Thanks. That's a video worth watching or least listening for that section but in case you just want the answer elon ust says they don't store speed or position data even if there were a court order they don't have anything to share. they just have diagnostic data and car service data. Except he didn't say that when they give the car to new York times reporters they do store all data so that they can fact check the story.
     
  11. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    The problem is with this data being used against you, especially if information gathering is not symmetric. If you get in an accident and the police can get access to show that you were slighly speeding then that could be detrimental, even if the other person was speeding more but there was no evidence to show this since he/she was not driving a car that has this form of data collection. As we have found out in recent years governments seem to love snooping on their citizens.
     
  12. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    #12 scaesare, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    The OP asked "But how much, if any, data does Tesla store? "

    As as been discussed.... it appears they store a LOT locally on-car. As a matter of fact they originally advertised on-board media storage, but at some point that was eliminated, and one of the reasons was for more storage to accomodate on-board telemetry logging (as well as map caching).

    It's also clear that some subset of that data can be transmitted back to the Tesla mothership. This appears to be in one of two ways: regular logging, and on-demand data pull (by a technician for troubleshooting, etc...).

    How much is regularly transmitted back in the former scenario is unknown, but the MVPA we all sign has this to say:

    So, while it's stated they don't store historical location info, that doesn't mean they don't at least aggregate travel info in real time. Elon has thrown statistics around during his talks (i.e. "10 million miles driven, etc...) which demonstrates they know what the fleet as whole is doing...). I'd suspect there's a healthy bit of battery telemetry data in there as well for them to slice-n-dice, as battery performance is significant factor for their long-terms success.

    In the latter scenario where an explicit pull of data is made, it's not clear how much of this is form the car versus from Tesla servers... but I'd suspect you can get a boatload of data from the car itself. This would likely be the method used if subpoena'd by legal authorities...

    (This broaches something I've always wondered: if you "own" the device, and thus the data, doing the logging, what protections, 5th amendment or otherwise, does one have with regard incriminating ones self? I assume that one would have to comply with a court ordered subpoena, but it seems like I've heard of police pulling such data at accident scenes, etc... do they have a right to "your" data without court backing?)
     
  13. supratachophobia

    supratachophobia Active Member

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    Visible Tesla logs enough to get you out of a ticket....
     
  14. blogth

    blogth Member

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    Read the Telemetry Agreement, which all buyers 'signed' as part of the purchase contract. Lots of data collected, and pretty much any organization may get access, except the owner.
     
  15. FlasherZ

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

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    If you report a big that had to do with location (e.g., the auto raising suspension), Tesla will ask your permission to keep logs on location data for the purpose of tracking it.
     
  16. doctorwho

    doctorwho Member

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    I'll need to keep a vehicle log for tax purposed here in Oz. I'm not sure that the tax department have worked out any rules for EVs used for business purposed but basically will need to keep a vehicle log for 4 weeks logging distance and charge kWhr/location/time. Is it possible for me to get this info somehow?
     
  17. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Political activity not deemed acceptable by the establishment at a minimum. Without this right you get awful situations like we see in Syria, Iraq, and North Korea. And don't think "it will never happen here." Anything is possible given enough time.

    GSP
     
  18. JST

    JST Active Member

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    This issue has been litigated, since lots of cars have data recorders these days. I haven't done an exhaustive search of the case law, but in the cases I've seen reported the answer is a) it's your data, b) which means it can be subpoenaed, and c) it's also subject to general rules on destruction of evidence.
     
  19. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    That makes sense, and was about what I suspected.

    So, not to derail this too far, but I've heard of situations where cars had data pulled from them by police while investigating an accident, etc... do those situations allow police reasonable grounds to search your car (for any evidence, including data), without a subpoena?
     
  20. bhzmark

    bhzmark Active Member

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    My tin foil hat protects me from detection when I am engaging in "political activity not deemed acceptable by the empire" -- in my Tesla.

    But how do we know that the microphone isnt sending back recordings of our conversations back to the death star?:eek:
     

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