A Tesla hacker known as "Green" has revealed that the new driver-facing cameras which are mounted in the rearview mirror assembly are meant for driver monitoring. In the future, the hacker notes that these cameras will be monitoring what the driver is doing.
In the past, Tesla has admitted that it can take photos or short videos of what the driver was doing prior to a collision enabling the company to develop safer cars.
"Help Tesla continue to develop safer vehicles by sharing camera data from your vehicle. This update will allow you to enable the built-in cabin camera above the rearview mirror. If enabled, Tesla will automatically capture images and a short video clip just prior to a collision or safety event to help engineers develop safety features and enhancements in the future. As usual, you can adjust your data sharing preferences by tapping Controls > Safety &Security > DATA Sharing > Camera Analytics."
When Tesla first launched the Model 3 with driver-facing cameras in the rearview mirror, the company said the cameras weren't active but would be used to help prevent vandalism of cars. That being said this feature has been in the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y for over three years and is yet to be used.
Green has revealed on the basis of code in Tesla's software that the automaker is trying to detect the driver using the cameras. The hacker has found code for the following scenarios.
This is notable as right now the only time Tesla cars monitor the driver is when the Autopilot mode is engaged. This to many could also be interpreted as a violation of privacy.