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Tesla says car cameras not activated outside North America

Cameras in Tesla cars are not activated outside of North America, the U.S. electric automaker said on its Chinese social media page on Wednesday, seeking to mitigate security concerns in China.

Tesla has come under fire in China where the military in March banned Tesla cars from getting into its complexes, citing security concerns over cameras in its vehicles.

“Even in the United States, car owners can freely select whether to turn on its (the camera system’s) use. Tesla is geared up with a network security system with world-leading security levels to ensure user privacy protection,” the carmaker wrote on Weibo, China’s social media.

At a virtual forum in Beijing in March, held not long after reports of the ban showed up, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized the company’s business motivations for protecting user privacy.

“There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information,” Musk said.

“If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down,” Musk added.

China is a major location of interest for electric vehicles. In 2020 Tesla sold 30% of its vehicles in the country.

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