Northeast Pols Revive “Privacy Protection” Bill vs Drones

Proposed Drone Bill Threatens To Upend Privacy Standards, Stifle UAS Industry





” The Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) is speaking out against bicameral legislation on drone privacy that was recently re-introduced by U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.

  The lawmakers, who rolled out the bill earlier this month, said the “Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act” aims to ensure the transparency and privacy of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations. Markey and Welch proposed a similar bill in the last Congress.

  According to the CDA, the legislation would create an additional layer of regulation that departs significantly from our existing technology-neutral standards. Instead, the group argues, we should apply our existing laws to protect the public – which courts have done for similar advances in photography-related technologies for decades.

  Existing technology-neutral standards pertain to photos captured by handheld cameras, smartphones, telephoto lenses, helicopters and UAS – without distinction. These rules are further strengthened by prohibitions against trespassing, stalking and peeping toms, the alliance says.

  Further, the CDA is concerned that the legislation would upend our “well established and robust” privacy standards and, in turn, create significant operational barriers and competition issues for even basic UAS flights.

The legislation requires operators to make publicly available, via the Federal Aviation Administration, listings of their future operations, such as where, when and for what purpose the drone is flying,” states Michael Latiner, chief strategy officer for drone services provider Uplift Data Partners. “This requirement removes the discretion of the operator on the ground to determine the safest and most efficient flight paths and will be incredibly onerous for operators of all sizes.” “

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