In the excitement of the rapidly expanding drone market, many are overlooking the more sinister applications for the technology. The threat is definitely present though and, whilst the numbers of privacy related crimes using drones is still minimal, illegal use of drones is sure to increase as the uptake of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS) surges. The Australian Government has certainly been aware of the potential threat for some time. In 2014, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs published 'Eyes in the sky' - a report from the inquiry into drones and the regulation of air safety and privacy. The report states;
"Remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) have the potential to pose a serious threat to Australians’ privacy. They can intrude on a person’s or a business’s private activities either intentionally, as in the case of deliberate surveillance, or inadvertently in the course of other activities like aerial photography, traffic monitoring or search and rescue. As RPAs become cheaper and more capable, and as the instruments they carry become more sensitive, they will provide governments, companies and individuals with the cost-effective capability to observe and collect information on Australians, potentially without their knowledge or consent."
Legislation alone will not be an effective deterrent. As the use, and subsequent abuse of a drone's capability becomes more prevalent so will the availability of affordable, effective drone detection systems, enabling organisations and individuals to take protection from privacy infringement by drones into their own hands. Watch this space - www.sensingproducts.com .