Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., recently introduced what they call legislation to establish safeguards to protect the privacy of individuals from the expanded use of drones.
The bicameral Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act would ensure standards for informing the public about the location, timing and ownership of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The legislation would also 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 UAVs.
The act also “adds privacy protections that ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans,” according to Sen. Markey, who is also a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act would do the following:
- Prohibit the FAA from issuing drone licenses unless the license application includes a data collection statement that explains who will operate the drone, where the drone will be flown, what kind of data will be collected, how that data will be used, whether the information will be sold to third parties, and the period for which the information will be retained;
- Require law enforcement agencies and their contractors and subcontractors to include an additional data minimization statement that explains how they will minimize the collection and retention of data unrelated to the investigation of a crime;
- Require that any surveillance involving drones by law enforcement agencies will require a warrant or extreme exigent circumstances; and
- Require the FAA to create a publicly available website that lists all approved licenses and includes the data collection and data minimization statements, any data security breaches suffered by a licensee, and the times and locations of drone flights.
A copy of the legislation can be found here.