The latest advances in technology have resulted in new privacy issues, and one of them is closely related to drones. Since the drone policy that was proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t seem to deal with the question of privacy, activists are arguing against it.
I find this argument quite interesting, and not only because I’m into drones and aerial photography. This is why I’d like to give an overview of the debate and to ask you what you think about it. I’ll start by explaining the current policy and move on to the arguments for and against it.
The current drone policy
There aren’t a lot of restrictions, that’s for sure. Drones can be equipped with facial recognition software and license plate scanners. They can track multiple targets at once and operate at heights and distances that make them very hard to detect. As a result, using drones takes surveillance to a whole other level.
What people fear most is someone stalking them and trespassing on their property, but those are all acts that are already punishable by law. I particularly liked the argument that it doesn’t really matter whether a camera is on a drone or a balloon – it’s breaking the law either way.
Apart from those who are fine with the drone policy as it is, there are people who are appalled by the lack of restrictions.
Since drones are much better equipped for surveillance than any of the other gadgets, the government should make sure that they have restrictions. The only way to do that is to incorporate a registry: require that all drone users identify themselves and register the type of technology they’re using. After all, if we thought it was necessary to register airplane pilots, why not register drone operators as well.