Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.V., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, recently announced draft legislation to address privacy issues associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Called the UAS Privacy Act of 2014, it would require commercial UAS operators to adopt and adhere to privacy policies with regard to the collection and use of personal information. The bill would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state Attorneys General.
The proposed legislation would prohibit private companies from conducting surveillance on individuals without their explicit prior consent. In addition, the draft bill directs the FTC, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, to promote rules and guidelines on UAS privacy policies, including the legal obligations of model UAS operators who purchase their UAS on the retail market.
“This bill addresses my concern that the rapidly increasing use of commercial drones will compromise the privacy of American consumers unless safeguards are put in place,” says Rockefeller.
“Earlier this year, I held a hearing in the Commerce Committee on the emergence of UAS and, while their use is rapidly increasing and holds great promise for American businesses and consumers, they also pose a significant privacy risk if we do not deal with such matters up front,” the senator continues.
“This bill attempts to do just that,” he explains. “We need to address privacy concerns before it’s too late.”
More on the proposed legislation can be found here.