Opening Brief Filed in EPIC’s Lawsuit Against FAA


The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), having cited a failure for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish privacy safeguards for commercial drones in the U.S., has filed an opening brief in its lawsuit against the federal agency.

In 2012, EPIC petitioned the federal agency to establish privacy rules for drones. EPIC said that “with special capabilities and enhanced equipment, drones are able to conduct far more detailed surveillance” of the American public. EPIC says more than 100 joined the petition.

Also in 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which required the FAA to implement a “comprehensive plan” to integrate drones into the national airspace.

However, says EPIC, the FAA has failed to propose privacy rules for drones.

“It is inconceivable that, in 2015, the FAA does not recognize the threat drones pose to privacy. The court must order the agency to do what EPIC asked and Congress mandated,” states Marc Rotenberg, president of EPIC.

The case is EPIC v. Federal Aviation Administration, No. 15-1075, filed March 31, 2015, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The attorneys are Rotenberg; Khaliah Barnes, EPIC associate director; Alan Butler, EPIC senior counsel; and Jeramie D. Scott, EPIC national security counsel.

EPIC filed its opening brief on Monday, Sept. 28, with the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The full opening brief can be found here.

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