As Sales of Drones Increase So Do Privacy Concerns

February 11, 2013 – In The News

In the past year, the sale of drones in the United States has skyrocketed and the sudden increase is being attributed to private citizens. The practical uses for drones are abundant: allowing farmers to watch their crops, news media to obtain better footage and of course assisting police and military in daily activity.

Along with the benefits of protection that drones offer, there is also concern for privacy.

"People have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in their backyards," said Scott Vernick.

Right now, nearly a dozen states are considering legislation to regulate drones, but Vernick says there are no particular laws at the moment.

The FAA now forecasts that unmanned aircraft will be a $94-billion dollar business in the next decade. The new popularity and accessibility of drones makes it easy for anyone to buy a drone online for the purpose of peeping.

"It comes with a price, less privacy, that's true, and that's why you have to find the right balance about how to use the technology appropriately," Vernick said.

House Bill 452, introduced in the Pennsylvania House last week, seeks to outlaw certain drone surveillance, but its passage is far from a sure thing. Right now the bill is still in committee.

Watch the ABC News segment here.