Drones can be used to Spy on People and Gather Personal Data
Drones are now everywhere. If you’ve been to the beach lately, then you’ve probably been drone stalked by some well-meaning owner. It’s annoying having someone follow you with their camera-equipped drone. If you’re like Ron Swanson, you might just knock the thing out of the sky and be done with it. You would be within your rights to privacy if someone was taking video of you without your consent with a drone. If you have a slingshot, you might want to bring it along on your next beach walk. Oddly, it’s against the law to shoot a drone that is registered with the FAA. If it’s not registered, well, then things get murky.
It’s estimated by the FAA that 80,000 drones have been registered for government and commercial use in the United States since 2016. And 60,000 people have obtained remote pilot certificates. Drones are growing in number and the government’s use of them is also growing. Law enforcement is already in the process of utilizing them for a variety of stakeout operations. Drones can record your conversations without a wiretap, they can access your wifi, some are even equipped with weapons.
On a personal level, individuals are also using camera and audio-equipped drones to spy on people. This has become such a problem in Australia that they had to ban drones from multiple beaches. Israeli researchers have come up with a method of catching a spy drone and are in the process of perfecting it for consumer use. This technology will be able to see if your home is specifically being spied on from 150 feet. Their goal is to be able to spot a drone from a mile away. If you can see it with binoculars or the naked eye, as mentioned, you are well within your personal information and privacy rights to take it down, just as long as it’s not registered with the FAA. If it is registered with the FAA, and until an easily used counter surveillance tool is accessible you can use a net gun, which is similar to what animal control uses. You can try a few others things like jamming the drone’s signal, though this might get you in trouble with the FAA since jamming is only allowed by the federal government, though, the illegal use of a drone would also get the operator in trouble with the FAA so it would end up being even.
As more drones hit the airspace, more countermeasures will avail themselves to the public. It’s our right as American citizens to live peacefully and privately as long as we’re not breaking any laws or creating problems for others. American ingenuity will prevail and easy methods of blocking assaults to our personal freedom and autonomy will soon be more plentiful than the drones themselves. If you’ve already had your privacy breached and have found your personal information posted online, you should do something about it. An internet removal service can remove your name from the internet, they also can remove google search results in some cases and can delete information that you don’t want appearing on websites.