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Drones Menacing ahead

What sounds like an ominous insect buzzing near you may be a jeopardy of a different kind.
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) often referred to as a Drone in the mainstream and this
gizmo can go remotely in to places with their video recording capability causing Privacy and
Safety issues for anyone under the unwanted watchful eye of the UAV.
UAVs were originally developed by the US Military to make drone strikes in its war against
terrorism, but this technology is being increasingly taken up by civilians as not so long ago
unmanned aerial drones were substance of science and fiction, today they are a center of
technological revolution.
The dawning age of the drone throws up as many challenges as it does open up breathtaking
opportunities and with the prices starting a few hundred Dollars making them very accessible
to the average citizen for what looks to be Fun to use can be catastrophic, they are now
creating a whole raft of safety, security and privacy concerns.
Having said that, 5 years ago The CSIRO set up a research Centre in Brisbane to look at how
Drones can be put to commercial use such as monitoring crops, etc. The CSIRO is also a
major organizer of UAV Outback Challenge in Southeast Queensland. The aim is to design a
drone which can navigate its way more than 10 kms in bushland or a farming countryside to
find a dummy, representing a lost individual to demonstrate search and rescue.
Who buys it?
A lot of TV Professionals, Photographers, Mining Industries, Fire Brigades and Life Savers use
this, however they amount to only 24% of the population who use it with an approval from
CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to use this technology commercially. This leaves a
critical thinker worried if it is going in the right direction.

Hazard lights
Its certain that they work, but, perhaps, they work a little too much as in the situation where
a near miss was encountered between a UAV and a Passenger Aircraft landing in Perth Airport
few years ago and the video captured in the Drones Camera.
Another area where the law may need clarifying is right to Privacy, with the paparazzi using
Drones to take celebrity shots which in a veil of coverage for news can intrude privacy of a
normal citizen.
This is getting closer to our homes as well, we have started to hear cases recently as the one
in New South Wales where someone went to their Bedroom window one morning and opened
up their curtains; found that there was a drone with camera hovering outside their bedroom
window.
Situations like these urges the updating of current laws to govern usage of Drones with an
appropriate level of regulation to be addressed in the areas of public safety, privacy and civil
liberties.
Drones could be the next frontier in commercial innovation, but only if we address the threats
to privacy and personal safety drones pose. Drones being a boon in aerial surveillance
platforms can be cheaply equipped with a number of surveillance technologies (e.g. HD
cameras, heat sensors, facial recognition, etc.), making them a unique threat to privacy.
The Current laws:
Under the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998, UAVs (weighing more than 100g and less
than 100kg) cannot generally be flown:

Higher than 400 feet;


Within 10m horizontally and 30 feet vertically of a person (although there are
exceptions to this prohibition for those involved in operating the UAV and others
Standing behind the UAV on takeoff);
Over a large group of people at a height from which, if any of its components fail, it
would not be able to clear the area;
Over or near prohibited or restricted areas (such as an aerodromes or restricted
military areas);
In conditions other than Visual Meteorological Conditions (i.e. bad weather);
In or into a cloud or at night;

Privacy is not strictly a "non-safety related" issue. If privacy is not addressed by the
Regulating Authority, the void will be filled by other means that will have implications for
safety.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that, whilst Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Drones have
amazing capabilities, and will have positive value to us as we move into the future, however
if not properly used and governed may bring in a devastation, leaving us with a question to
answer; Have we just left The Genie out of the bottle?