Mar 182013
 March 18, 2013  Posted by  Non-U.S., Surveillance


The police are increasingly using unmanned aircraft in their efforts to track down criminals in the Netherlands, leading to MPs’ questions about the privacy implications.

Drones – small helicopters equipped with cameras – are used to trace burglars and getaway cars as well as illegal marijuana plantations. For example, Harlingen borrowed two drones from the defence ministry last year after a spate of burglaries in the Frisian town.

Since 2009, drones have been used in at least 40 areas, the AD reported on Monday. In total, they were in the air on at least 132 different days.

D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw has asked the justice ministry to explain the implications of the use of drones on privacy.

‘I understand they can be useful, but they need to have a basis in law,’ he is quoted as saying by RTL news. ‘How closely can innocent citizens be filmed. No-one has a clue what they are filming.’


Will EU privacy advocates find it easier to rein in the use of drones than privacy advocates in the U.S.? I suspect they will. And any time someone tries to promote the idea that the U.S. is the greatest country in the world, one of the things I point out to them is our lack of strong privacy laws. YMMV.

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