Mass. Senator Wants to Establish Some Drone Privacy Rules

Wild West in the sky with robots instead of cowboys.Domestic drone surveillance is an
inevitability, and while certain uses of the machines are unlikely
to cause any significant issues, there’s still the matter of what
law enforcement will (and does) do with them. One senator wants to

establish some rules
. Courtesy of the National

As the Federal Aviation Administration assesses whether
commercial skies are ready for commercial, nonmilitary drones in
the near future, some lawmakers are attempting to capitalize on the
data-surveillance debate by pushing for preemptive privacy
regulations on the still-grounded industry.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., introduced a bill this week that
would require law-enforcement agencies to earn a warrant before
conducting any surveillance via any unmanned aircraft. The bill
would also make drone applications include statements detailing the
purpose and location of any drone and how any data collected is
intended to be used; it would also require the FAA to maintain a
website listing licenses issued and other information about
approved drones.

“Before countless commercial drones begin to fly overhead, we
must ground their operation in strong rules to protect privacy and
promote transparency,” Markey said in a statement. “This
legislation requires transparency on the domestic use of drones and
adds privacy protections that ensure this technology cannot and
will not be used to spy on Americans.”

Drone lobbyists worry that they’re going to be singled out and
want the rules to be “technology-neutral,” which, you know, might
not be a bad idea.

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