By Stephen Kiehl and Hannah Lepow
Over the last year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Department of Commerce, has convened a series of meetings regarding voluntary best practices for privacy, accountability and transparency in the use of drones (“UAS”) by commercial and private users. A number of stakeholders have participated in these meetings, including representatives of insurance companies, technology companies, news organizations, drone manufacturers, and consumer and privacy groups. This week the stakeholders reached consensus on a “Best Practices” draft document that contains voluntary privacy guidance, which the NTIA has posted on its website.
Importantly, the document recognizes that the benefits of UAS are substantial, and that UAS integration will have a significant positive economic impact in the United States. The document also stresses that the best practices it outlines are voluntary and do not create a legal or regulatory standard, nor should they be used as a basis for any local, state or federal law or regulation. The privacy guidance focuses on data collected by a UAS — and not on data collected by any other means. And, as we discuss below, the best practices do not cover newsgathering activities. Continue Reading