Tesla Inc. ( TSLA ) agreed to change the settings on its car cameras after complaints from European consumers and an investigation by Dutch privacy regulators.
The electric carmaker has agreed to release a software update to its cars in the European Union so that built-in exterior safety cameras no longer continuously record footage around the vehicle, but are disabled by default unless the recording feature is turned on, Dutch regulators said. Under the new setting, only the last 10 minutes of footage will be saved instead of the previous hour of footage.
European privacy regulators have been investigating Tesla’s Sentry Mode setting for several years. The setup is designed to protect the vehicle from theft and damage, but the exterior cameras can film anyone outside the vehicle without their knowledge, raising questions about whether the technology complies with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. Regulation) concern.
Dutch regulators said that after a software update, Tesla vehicles’ headlights would flash and display a message on the interior touchscreen if the cameras were filming. The regulator refrained from fineing Tesla after concluding its investigation into the Sentry Mode feature because it believed individual car users, rather than automakers, were responsible for how their cars collected data through cameras.