Drones May Set Off a Flurry of Lawsuits

The New York Times seems pretty anti sUAS use, almost daily reports of worries. We think they are operating in the manufacturers twilight zone. They believe the capability hype. Perhaps they ought to be flying a couple of their own before to get a handle on how things really work. What people say is possible and what is actually possible are quite far apart.


Opening up the skies to the civilian use of drones in the United States is likely to lead to a number of new questions about surveillance by electronic means.

Unmanned aerial vehicles can not only take photos and videos, they can also spot heat sources, read car license plate numbers, and perhaps soon capture other information about people and things down below.

The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based civil liberties group, has called for limits on the collection and use of that information. It says the Federal Aviation Administration, which is in charge of air safety, should demand a “data collection statement” from each company or agency that wants to use a drone, with details on what information is collected and for what purpose. Moreover, if police agencies use drones, the group said in a recent blog post, they should limit the collection of information to specific cases and not collect vast troves of data on people and communities. The data, it said, should be kept for as little time as possible.