Archive: March 16, 2015

Unmanned Aircraft–A Winged Threat to Privacy?

Unmanned Aircraft–A Winged Threat to Privacy?

By Tom DeCesar, Ed Fishman, Jim Insco, and Marty Stern

It is has been a busy time in the field of unmanned aircraft systems (a.k.a., drones).  The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would allow the widespread use of small unmanned aircraft for a variety of low-altitude, line-of-site commercial operations–something currently prohibited by the agency.  However, the FAA does not typically deal with privacy issues.  So, while the FAA will regulate the use of these devices, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum calling for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to begin a multi-stakeholder process to outline industry guidelines related to privacy, transparency, and accountability in the use of unmanned aircraft.  (See our recent client alert on the FAA small UAS NPRM and the Presidential Memorandum by clicking here.)  Although the NTIA’s typical focus is on telecommunications issues, it has convened a multi-stakeholder processes to address privacy issues involving such things as mobile app disclosures and facial recognition technologies. Read More

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