Op-Ed: Drones as aerial paparazzi, stupidity, privacy invasion and more

Just when you think drones are a curse, they get worse. The new “smart” form of journalistic photography is drone-based. That’s very bad news for the public and for privacy in many ways, although there are some uses in real journalism.
Some observations from the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Kate Middleton and many other people besides can rest assured that their bare breasts are fair game, anywhere, any time,” the Australian Privacy Foundation’s Roger Clarke warned, in a week when snaps of the pregnant Duchess in a bikini made international headlines.
Last year a New South Wales resident filed a complaint after spotting a drone hovering outside their bedroom window, Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said.
Australian media organisations conducting journalism with drones and individuals flying them around the street are not covered by the Privacy Act. Pilgrim believes this and the “potentially intrusive nature of the technology” mean a public debate about the use of drones is needed.”

That’s not quite accurate, in my opinion. Prima facie, any kind of personally intrusive surveillance is at least in theory a breach of privacy under the law, whether the type of surveillance is “covered” specifically or not. You’d have a basis for claim for breach of privacy under those circumstances, regardless of the means of invasion of privacy.

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Source: digitaljournal.com

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