Last year, CNBC editor Jay Yarrow crashed his Tesla Model X in the United States. The car was written off by the insurance company and ended up in the junkyard and Jay thought of nothing more. But then, all of a sudden, six months later, Jay suddenly started getting notifications from his Tesla again because he had never disconnected it from his phone app. It turns out that the cache resold the crashed car at auction.
In the app, he was able to track the car to southern Ukraine. So someone bought the car, shipped it to Ukraine and got it fixed. Jay could also see that the new owner was also using his Spotify account which was still in the car.
– Here is an unusual case. I had a Tesla and it crashed, it was recovered. And now he is in Ukraine? And someone listening to Drake on their Spotify account still logged in, Jay Yarow writes on X.
It is not uncommon for scrap cars to be shipped overseas. In this case, the car was auctioned through Copart, which specializes in restored cars and sells about 2 million vehicles annually. Such condemned cars are not allowed to be driven on American roads, but some countries are not as strict as these cars and they are shipped here.
It raises questions about security
It’s always nice to fix cars and get a second chance somewhere else. But the whole thing also raises questions about IT security. In Jay’s car, phone lists, a history of visited addresses and other similar personal data were stored. Something that could be abused if the previous owner was a prominent person, CNBC writes about the incident.
What is the value of a celebrity’s travel history and phone book to a blackmailer or kidnapper? asks Ken Tindle, who works with IT security at Canis Labs.
Tesla doesn’t offer remote erasure, which could mean that a car that’s scrapped and then brought back to life could end up with personal data in the wrong hands. Tindell and other security experts are now calling for a way for Tesla owners to remotely erase all data in their cars. Something, for example, that Apple offers with its phones.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”