U.S. government releases drone best practices
Fri 20 May 2016
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has released a document outlining privacy best practices for commercial and non-commercial drone use. The agency, along with stakeholders from drone companies and drone operators including Amazon, Google X, and others, compiled a list of voluntary best practices intended to protect the privacy of the public at large from data-gathering drones.
While the best practices outlined are completely voluntary, the NTIA did remind drone operators that they are required to comply with all federal, state and local regulations concerning the operation of unmanned aircraft. However, they made an exception to journalists and news media outlets whose rights are legally protected, saying, “Newsgatherers and news reporting organizations may use UAS in the same manner as any other comparable technology to capture, store, retain and use data or images in public spaces.”
In early 2015, President Obama instructed the NTIA to create a policy recommendation to promote the responsible use of drone technology. The agency reached a consensus with industry stakeholders from commercial operators (Amazon), the Future of Privacy Forum, and the News Media Coalition among others, to create the privacy protection considerations outlined in the paper.