Currently, no single federal agency has been statutorily designated with specific responsibility to regulate privacy matters relating to UAS for the entire federal government. UAS stakeholders with whom we spoke disagreed as to whether the regulation of UAS privacy-related issues should be centralized within one federal agency and, if centralized, which agency would be best positioned to handle such a responsibility.
We recommend that the Secretaries of Transportation and Homeland Security and the Attorney General initiate discussions, prior to the integration of UAS into the national airspace system, to explore whether any actions should be taken to guide the collection and use of UAS data.To review the surveys and GAO report, use the links below:
- U.S. Supports Some Domestic Drone Use (Monmouth University Poll, June 12, 2012)
- Third of the Public Fears Police Use of Drones for Surveillance Will Erode Their Privacy - Story / Survey Results (The AP-National Constitution Center Poll, August 2012/Released September 27, 2012)
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Measuring Progress and Addressing Potential Privacy Concerns Would Facilitate Integration into the National Airspace System (GAO, September 18, 2012)
Comment: Besides the privacy issue, the GAO report does an excellent job of exploring many of the issues that are emerging as the U.S. moves toward full integration of UAS's into the national airspace by 2015. If you would like to review a well written document on these issues, the GAO report is well worth your time.
Lead photo: ACLU