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Tesla promises to store all data collected in China locally

Tesla is promising to store all data that it will collect in China locally following concerns regarding data collection and even spying.

Last month, we reported on the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military, issuing a notice banning Tesla owners from parking their vehicles on bases and in housing complexes.

The concerns appeared to be related to Tesla’s use of cameras all around its vehicles, which could be a security concern, depending on how the automaker collects data from them.

It’s fairly standard for the military to have these types of concerns, but the story in Chinese media ended up turning into a more general concern about Tesla’s data collection.

CEO Elon Musk even ended up commenting on the story by stating the obvious: “Tesla is not using its vehicles’ cameras to spy on China.

“”If Tesla used its cars to carry out espionage activities in China or anywhere, we would get shut down…There’s a strong incentive for us to be confidential,””

The story persisted over the next few weeks, and now Tao Lin, Tesla’s global vice president, also commented on the situation.

At a roundtable forum held by the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s economic planner, the Tesla exec stated that the automaker will keep all data collected in China locally (via Global Times):

“A Tesla executive on Tuesday sought to allay recent concerns over data security in its popular electric cars, reiterating that all data collected in China will be placed and stored in China.”

One of the main concerns was Tesla’s use of a cabin-facing camera, but the executive reiterated that the device has not been activated in China yet.

Where it has been turned on, drivers can opt to share clips from the camera to Tesla or not in order to help the automaker with its self-driving development effort.

Tesla also uses the camera as a driver monitoring system in its Full Self-Driving Beta program, but the program has yet to expand to China.

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