Drones and privacy

Drones and privacy concerns for individuals. Drones bring along quite some privacy concerns regarding public and private areas. In this blog we will attempt to clarify some of these concerns so you can avoid any conflicts.

Drones and privacy

Drones and privacy

The main use for drones is to capture and film aerial footage. Although this drone function has greatly improved many core businesses, it is also being misused. The lack of regulations has lead to individuals taking matters into own hands. For example, civilians have taken down drones which, in their perspective, were invading their privacy. Consequently, these drone owners are angered since they are flying according to the FAA rules. These conflicts can be easily avoided by determining a set of rules which are easily understandable for both parties.

Current regulations

Rules have been set regarding places to fly your drones, and restrictions to limit the use of drones. However, no clear rules have been determined by an official institution that deals with any privacy concerns for drones. Government agencies have prioritized their own operations which lead to little response about mounting concerns on drones. The FAA has postponed any decision making regarding privacy breaches when flying your drone. So far the agency has stated that any privacy questions will be answered by state law.

Current state laws protect indivduals spying or stalking on them in their homes. However, no clear lines have been set to restrict spying with drones. Rules are set when filming with your mobile phone, but drones have significantly more mobility which allows them to film far more private areas.

The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act

In order to ensure drone privacy and transparency, an aircraft act has been introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey and Rep. Peter Welch.

This legislation includes:

  • Prohibit the FAA from issuing drone licenses unless the license application includes a data collection statement that explains who will operate the drone, where the drone will be flown, what kind of data will be collected, how that data will be used, whether the information will be sold to third parties, and the period for which the information will be retained.
  • Require law enforcement agencies and their contractors and subcontractors to include an additional data minimization statement that explains how they will minimize the collection and retention of data unrelated to the investigation of a crime.
  • Require that any surveillance involving drones by law enforcement agencies will require a warrant or extreme exigent circumstances.
  • Require the FAA to create a publicly available website that lists all approved licenses and includes the data collection and data minimization statements, any data security breaches suffered by a licensee, and the times and locations of drone flights.

Click here to read more regarding the legislation.