Drone Registry Lands Hobbyists Within Reach of Regulators

October 27, 2015 – In The News

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Law360 article, “Drone Registry Lands Hobbyists Within Reach of Regulators.” Full text can be found in the October 27, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is below.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will create a task force of industry and government officials as well as other stakeholders to deliver a report by November 20 on the parameters for rules requiring recreational drone operators to register their aircraft.

The registry is slated to be launched by mid-December, and while attorneys say it is a good first step to make the drone industry more accountable, there are some shortcomings, including that registering a serial number would do little good in situations where individuals are unable to get a close look at the drone.

“Having a registration is better than nothing, but I’m not convinced that it would really work,” said Scott Vernick, a noted privacy attorney. “If it's designed to try to hold people accountable, I don't know if it really does that because as a practical matter, the registration number might not survive a crash or be transferred in private sales.”

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