Two Democratic lawmakers recently proposed legislation that they said would protect individuals’ privacy and inform the public about the U.S. government’s expanded drone use.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said in a news release The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act would set transparency standards and include privacy protection provisions.
“The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act will ensure standards for informing the public about the location, timing and ownership of unmanned aerial vehicles. The legislation also will require privacy protection provisions relating to data collection and minimization, disclosure, warrant requirements for law enforcement, and enforcement measures in the licensing and operation of drones,” the press release reads.
Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said the bill would provide “sufficient safeguards … to protect our privacy.”
“Drones flying overhead could collect very sensitive and personally identifiable information about millions of Americans,” Markey said in part.
Markey says the proposal “requires transparency in domestic drone use and adds privacy protections that ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans.”
“Drones are a valuable tool for commerce, law enforcement, and public safety as well as a fun hobby. Our statutes must be updated to reflect the emergence of this soon-to-be ubiquitous technology to ensure privacy and transparency in their operation and use,” Welch said, referring to FAA estimates that suggest there could be 2,700,000 commercial drones in the U.S. by 2020.
Markley and Welch introduced similar legislation in 2015.