US agency issues privacy guidance for drone operators

Albert Hummel

Safety regulations for drone usage continue to be formulated, with the US Federal Aviation Administration last month proposing a four-tiered classification system with different rules for how drones can and can t interact with crowds.

In February last year U.S. president Barak Obama asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration NTIA , which advises on telecoms policy issues, to bring various stakeholders together to help develop best practices to address privacy, transparency and accountability issues relating to private and commercial use of UAS aka drones .

Voluntary best practice for drone operators

Among the recommendations suggested, drone operators are urged with some caveats to provide prior notice to individuals of the general timeframe and area that they may anticipate a UAS intentionally collecting covered data — where covered data means data that can identify a particular person.

This policy is suggested to include:

the purposes for which UAS will collect covered data;

the kinds of covered data UAS will collect;

information regarding any data retention and de-identification practices;

examples of the types of any entities with whom covered data will be shared;

information on how to submit privacy and security complaints or concerns;

information describing practices in responding to law enforcement requests.

without express consent from the data subject :

employment eligibility, promotion, or retention;

credit eligibility;

healthcare treatment eligibility

So your boss should not really be deploying a drone over your house to check if you are sunbathing in your garden that time you called in sick.

However no limits are placed on the use/sharing of aggregated covered data as an input e.g., statistical information for broader marketing campaigns .

Albert Hummel
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