The Drone Privacy Problem and how Congress Should Tackle it

The Center For Democracy and Technology has posten an interesting article about this topic. How can other countries learn from this.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued more than 300 licenses to fly drones in the U.S. The FAA is ready to start issuing a lot more drone licenses, now that Congress passed a law requiring the agency to open the skies to government and private drones of all kinds within a few years. Yet nothing in the drone law requires the FAA to create any privacy protections.

However, on its own authority, the FAA can – and should – investigate the possible negative effects of flying drones in U.S. airspace. These investigations – called “Privacy Impact Assessments” or PIAs — are intended to ferret out potential privacy problems and find solutions.

The drone law – officially titled the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 or P.L. 112-95 – requires the FAA to conduct studies on the safe use of drones, as well as develop operation rules and certification standards. These studies and rules could cover privacy issues, but the FAA may claim it only has authority over traditional safety issues, such as making sure drones don’t crash into airplanes. The FAA is more likely to leave the task of developing privacy rules for drones to Congress or, perhaps, the Department of Transportation (DOT).

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