John Villasenor reports:
Technology, as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 2001 Supreme Court opinion, has the power “to shrink the realm of guaranteed privacy.” Few other technologies have as much power to do this as drones. Because they can perch hundreds or thousands of meters in the air, drones literally add a new dimension to the ability to eavesdrop. They can see into backyards and into windows that look out onto enclosed spaces not visible from the street. They can monitor wi-fi signals or masquerade as mobile phone base stations, intercepting phone calls before passing them along. Using a network of drones, it would be possible to follow the movements of every vehicle in a city—a capability that would be invaluable to a police department tracking the getaway car in a bank robbery but invasive if used to track a patient driving to a clinic to get treatment for a confidential medical condition.