German police wants to ban Tesla cars from its premises on security grounds but the union is unconvinced
The police department in Berlin was forced to clarify a memo sent on Wednesday which notified that all Tesla vehicles will be banned from "all properties of the police headquarters and the State Criminal Police Office." The internal letter warned that "all vehicle models from the manufacturer Tesla make permanent, event-independent video recordings of the entire vehicle environment and export these recordings," in apparent reference to Tesla's Sentry Mode.
Germany is very sensitive to matters of privacy, security, and proper storage as well as usage of personal data gathered by various electronic surveillance and online services. Just yesterday, however, it became clear that China is banning Teslas from places where its government officials gather on the same security grounds. The Berlin police memo advised that the recordings gathered by Tesla cars are "permanently stored on Tesla servers located abroad (Netherlands)" and their owners are mostly in the dark about this fact.
The "security-related threat to employees, third parties, and the properties of the Berlin police" is the reason for the Tesla vehicle ban offer, but the brouhaha that ensued when the letter was published in German media forced the department to walk back on it. Spokesperson Thilo Cablitz went into explanation mode saying that the move would concern all vehicles with surveillance cameras and advanced computer systems on them, not just Tesla, and is currently only at the "proposal" status.
In its turn, the Berlin police union that is against the Tesla ban, commented on today's positive resolution of the letter controversy:
It is good that such an incorrect letter is corrected immediately. Today's technical possibilities are very far-reaching and make it necessary to constantly optimize security measures on properties.