Aviation groups have asked the Federal Aviation Administration to ignore the privacy implications of increased drone use in the United States. The letter follows the FAA statementthat domestic drones “raises privacy issues [that] will need to be addressed.” Earlier this year, EPIC warned Congress, “there are substantial legal and constitutional issues involved in the deployment of aerial drones by federal agencies.” EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, has petitioned the FAA to to establish privacy safeguards. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones
And no, EPIC isn’t exaggerating. The letter says, in part:
It is our belief that for FAA to succeed, the agency must remain focused on safety rather than privacy issues, where the FAA has no statutory standing or technical expertise.
And if the FAA were foolishly thinking of restricting air space because of privacy-related or other concerns, the industry says
Additionally, as a goal the FAA should ensure that the introduction of UAS into the NAS not limit access to airspace or require modifications to the existing fleet of aircraft flying in the NAS beyond what is already currently anticipated to accommodate NextGen. The importance of airspace access cannot be overstated and FAA must aggressively protect its preeminent role as manager of the national airspace system.
Update: Ha! Thanks to a reader who pointed out my spelling error. How many times I have seen this sign and still didn’t spell it correctly: