An aerial view of you- Drones and the Public’s Rising Privacy Concerns.
Drones have advanced our technology, but they have also invaded our privacy. Find out how.
When we see a drone, most of us have an instinctive thought that goes along the lines of “cool, that is technology at its finest”. Many of us even own drones that we fly for recreation and entertainment.
But how would you react, if a drone flew over when you were in your backyard, on the street, or with your friends- and this happened all too often?
Since the rise of the drone technology, the general public globally has had mixed reactions to this uprise, especially its impact on privacy and security of the people.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or in layman terms, drones have been used for a long time for various purposes including but not limited to remote sensing, land usage, and natural resource analysis.
This technology has rapidly boomed in the last decade resulting in widespread usage of drones for police monitoring, studies, and entertainment.
This may seem like something small, but in reality, it may be a small aspect of a bigger picture of privacy violation. Many people feel that drones flying over capturing data has made them susceptible to privacy breaches and made them victims of this violation.
From delivering pizzas to military monitoring and disaster management, this technology is no longer confined to a particular sector and is spilling over commercially throughout the economy.
These flights are not monitored or manned, they simply “fly” over areas, and perform the predefined tasks.
Despite its use gaining popularity so quickly, authorities worldwide have not been able to put restrictions and regulations in place. This is mostly because drones cannot be monitored in themselves and a lot of them are unrecognised.
A study found out that people were okay with police drones flying over in call of duty rather than helicopters because they are cheap, less noisy, and quick. But, the public surveyed also stated that they would not be comfortable with drones being used by the police in day to day monitoring as this would build mistrust and a fear of the system.
The factors that decided a person’s views on drones was largely affected by their ethnicity, political affiliation, neighbourhoods/cities, the standard of living, education, and many others. This simply points to the fact that each person had a different view, but it pointed in the same direction of privacy violation in some way or the other.
Drones integrate GIS and remote sensing technology with autonomous unmanned flying resulting in a powerful tool that can be used well if done right.
It uses GPS to guide the pilot, who himself is on the ground, to see the flight even without a definite path.
Drones are being actively used by military, nations, and law enforcement to control and monitor public behaviour, which has raised many eyebrows at a global level due to concerns relating to privacy and security.
This double-edged sword has its pros in its efficiency and control factor, and its primary cons lie in its ability to breach privacy very easily.
Albeit risky, if used properly and by people that have business using it, drones are a technology that can help the sphere of safety, management, and law enforcement drastically.
Collection and consumption of data should be done responsibly, and only by parties that can guarantee the people their safety, and show for the good that they claim to be doing with this technology.