Sorry 007, Little Spy Corvette Is Illegal In Many States

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( — October 1, 2014)  — General Motors is scrambling to prevent owners of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette from breaking the law with the car’s high-tech Performance Data Recorder called “Valet Mode.”

“Think of it as a baby monitor for your car,” Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager, said in a statement introducing the car.

“Performance Data Recorder was initially designed as a tool for track days, allowing drivers to record their laps and improve their driving skills. You can even capture video and data when someone else is driving the car with Valet Mode, giving you extra peace of mind,” he said.

“We soon realized the system could have many more applications, such as recording a scenic drive up Highway 101, or recording when the Valet Mode is activated.” Charles said.

But GM apparently wasn’t paying attention to various spying scandals over the years.  including Monica Lewinsky, Edward Snowden or NSA phone tapping  leaks.

Apparently, the Valet Mode is a felony in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. In these states all parties involved in the recording must either consent to a recording or at least be aware that the recording is happening, depending on the state.

Realizing its mistake, GM sent out letters to its dealers and mechanics last week, explaining that the company would be coming out with an update to the 2015 Corvettes in the next month, asking them to pass on the potential illegality of the feature to their customers.

 “In the meantime, you must advise any customers who take delivery of an impacted vehicle that they should refrain from using the Valet Mode until the update takes place,” the letter said, as posted on Corvette Forum.

Monte Doran, a spokesperson for Corvette, said to Forbes that GM is “evaluating several scenarios for the software update – for example disabling the audio recording in Valet Mode, but keeping the video recording activities.”

“It’s really the interior audio that triggers various wiretap laws,” Ryan Calo of the University of Washington School of Law said.

Along with the recordings, Valet Mode also disables the entertainment system and locks storage compartments to deter thefts.