The benefits of commercial and private unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are substantial. Technology has moved forward rapidly, and what used to be considered toys are quickly becoming powerful commercial tools that can provide enormous benefits in terms of safety and efficiency.
However, the very characteristics that make UAS so promising for commercial and noncommercial uses, including their small size, maneuverability and capacity to carry various kinds of recording or sensory devices, can raise privacy concerns.
The new rules for non-hobbyist small unmanned aircraft (UAS) operations – Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (PDF) – cover a broad spectrum of commercial uses for drones weighing less than 55 pounds. Here are the highlights of the new rule.
Although the new rule does not specifically deal with privacy issues in the use of drones, and the FAA does not regulate how UAS gather data on people or property, the FAA is acting to address privacy considerations in this area. The FAA strongly encourages all UAS pilots to check local and state laws before gathering information through remote sensing technology or photography.