Tesla's "car-as-service" versus your right to see your data

Espen got a parking ticket for his Tesla, and he's pretty sure he can exonerate himself, if only the company would give him access to his car's data, but they won't.

That's the thing about a computer that's sold as a "service" (even a computer with four wheels that you sit inside of) -- if you were allowed to get into its lowest levels, you could disconnect yourself from the service and go to a rival, or start your own. Remember, if you can't open it, you don't own it.

And this is where it gets interesting (and where I stop caring about the parking ticket and start caring about principles): Norway has a Personal Data Protection Act, which dictates that if a company is saving data about you, they not only have to tell you what they save, but you also have a “right of inspection” (something I confirmed with a quick call to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority). Furthermore, I am vice chairman of Digitalt Personvern, an association working to repeal the EU data retention directive and know some of the best data privacy lawyers in Norway.

So I can probably set in motion a campaign to force Tesla Norway to give me access to my data, based on Norwegian law. Tesla’s policies may be American, but their Norwegian subsidiary has to obey Norwegian laws.

Elon, I want my data! (Thanks, Espen!)

Notable Replies

  1. Do Tesla really sell their cars as a service, a la power by the hour?

    If I could get one and pay per mile as a service charge instead of the up front cost, I might be interested.

  2. Vnend says:

    I will have to reconsider how I would spend the money if Publisher's Clearinghouse ring the doorbell next month.

  3. Wait, what? No! That's not what we meant at all!

    You know, I think a movement is in order. The more companies do things like this with data, and the more fear and paranoia spread about government and corporations knowing absolutely everything, the more demand there will be for low-tech solutions - cars that don't drive themselves, for example, and have an engine as simple as a '65 Beetle. Keys and locks made of metal. That kind of thing.

    Microprocessors are amazing tools of the future and all... but maybe an internet of things is not your friend.

  4. I had the same realization when all the voting machines were going digital. There are times and places where you really don't want that sort of 'convenience' clashing with the need for change control.

  5. Which is why we're stupid to ever let our lives depend on devices built on non-free software. If the Tesla had been running all free software and open standards, there would never have been a problem. And Tesla the company doesn't have one legitimate reason not to.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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