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Oh man, you can’t make this stuff up. Reddit is a website with forums for various communities. /r/Adultery is the forum for 161,000 scumbags who feel the need to talk about infidelity and even trade techniques. Posts tagged with OPSEC (military slang for operational security) include tips for keeping a snooping spouse in the dark. A recent OPSEC post highlighted some of Tesla’s security issues. I’m a big fan of personal privacy, but in this specific battle I’m not sure who I hate more.

This story starts with one slimeball in particular. “Agitated_Sugar_7738” is a man born in 1980 who just bought a Model Y. As much as I’d love to tell the internet this cheater’s name, he only reveals that he’s a married dad living in Harrisburg, PA.

“Agitated” recently bought his Tesla used. He downloaded the Tesla app to his phone so he could unlock the car, and discovered just how much information his wife could get from the same app:

“If you’re interested in buying a Tesla, just be aware that your partner can see your location on the Tesla app, as well as how fast you’re driving, if you’re parked, where you’re parked and even where you are in the f***ing car with heat map in case you’re hoping to turn up the temperature in the backseat…Cars are getting too d*** smart these days”

Agitated_Sugar_7738 via

The wild part is, lots of other folks who frequent the forum already had workarounds. JadenMe80 recommended lying to your significant other, saying you can’t create them an account so they’re forced to use a Tesla keycard. FriendHopeful7979 recommended using your keycard to access the vehicle while out cheating and deactivating all mobile access to the vehicle, including your significant other’s. Another user said if questioned about disabling her partner’s mobile access to his Tesla, she just claims the car suffered a software glitch.

Interior and infotainment screen of car tracking driver
Car interior | Blue Planet Studio

The entitled commenters called this “surveillance” unfair. But if the car is co-owned, there is nothing illegal about one owner checking up on their car via the app. “Agitated” has convinced me that there is one situations where automakers should offer even less security to their drivers. For example: if a parent owns a car and wants to know exactly where a teenager borrowing it is driving, they have every right to track them. But of course this legal surveillance is just the tip of the iceberg.

When Mozilla poured over the privacy policies of 25 car companies, they found none of them were meeting the watch group’s minimum customer privacy recommendations. It concluded that cars are the worst digital product in terms of customer privacy.

Of all the automakers, Tesla ranked dead last. And I’m not at all shocked. I have already covered how Tesla employees were caught using vehicle cameras to spy on owners’ “private scenes.” So even if you can disable your spouse’s mobile app access, maybe think twice about heating up the back seat when you know you shouldn’t.