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How Not to Be a Jerk with Your Drone

In 2015, President Obama established a multi-stakeholder engagement process to ensure that privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns are considered and addressed as drones are integrated into the airspace. The process culminated in a final consensus document supported by a diverse group. The gist of the consensus document is simple: don’t be a jerk with your drone. In fact, several of the document’s suggestions are easy, commonsense ways for drone operators to ensure that they use their devices in an ethical, safe way that is respectful of fellow members of society.

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CDT Supports Draft NTIA Consensus Document for Drone Operations

In order to reconcile the exciting possibilities of drone operations with privacy concerns, last year President Obama called on interested stakeholders to establish best practices for “privacy, accountability, and transparency issues” regarding UAS. Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that a group consisting of members of civil society (including CDT), trade groups, and companies has created a comprehensive consensus document.

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From Self-Help “Skeet Shooting” to DHS Guidance for Law Enforcement: Regulation of Drones Is a Bumpy Ride

When William Merideth allegedly witnessed an Unmanned Aircraft System (a.k.a. “drone”) hovering over his property while his 16-year-old daughter sunbathed in the garden, he promptly took out his 12-gauge shotgun and blew it out of the sky. In the wake of the subsequent criminal charges against him, the self-proclaimed “Drone Slayer” proudly…

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CDT Proposes Privacy Best Practices for Drones

Drones are a promising technology with great commercial and social potential. Since drones can also operate as a flying platform for sophisticated sensors – such as hi-res cameras, facial and license plate recognition, or cell tower emulators – drones can also erode individual privacy. CDT is proposing comprehensive voluntary privacy best practices for private use of drones, with the goal of credibly safeguarding individual privacy while enabling a wide range of private drone uses.

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CDT's Suggestions on Regulation of Civil Use of Drones in the EU

CDT submitted two documents on commercial use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (or “RPAS” – more commonly known in the United States as drones), to European policymakers this month. One document responded to the UK House of Lords’ inquiry into civil use in the EU of RPAS. The second was a submission to the European Commission’s EU Consultation on the subject matter.

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‘License Plates’ for Drones?

If we’re going to put cameras on drones and let just about anyone with a few hundred bucks fly them around our neighborhoods, recording video of anyone in our backyards and doing who-knows-what with them, shouldn’t there at least be a way to identify who the drone belongs to? Shouldn’t there be something akin to a “license plate” for…

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Jones, Drones, and (GPS Tracked) Automobiles

With February’s FAA reauthorization placing drones on an accelerated path to domestic use, Congress and the courts need to take action to place appropriate restrictions on drone activities in American airspace. Failure to do so will allow yet another privacy invasive technology to outstrip legal and regulatory boundaries, putting American’s civil…

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Drone Countdown

Now that Congress’ demand to put drones in the air over America is law, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must write the rules governing the operation of civilian and government drones. The new drone law contains a tangle of dates and deadlines for those rules. The “countdown” in the law is confusing to sort out, but…

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Congress Demands Drones Over America

Congress is demanding drones in the air over the United States – without considering the civil liberties issues. Within the span of three days last week, the House and then the Senate passed a law – H.R. 658 – requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to speed up, within 90 days, its current licensing…

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