US to begin talks on drone privacy standards

But it's unclear if privacy and consumer groups will come to the table after leaving earlier privacy discussions

Kenyan online retailer Kilimall. Kilimall is testing use of DJI Phantom 2  Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system to deliver goods ordered online.

Kenyan online retailer Kilimall. Kilimall is testing use of DJI Phantom 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system to deliver goods ordered online.

A U.S. government agency will start its third attempt to develop voluntary privacy standards for an emerging area of technology, this time with a series of meetings on drone privacy scheduled to begin Aug. 3.

The U.S. National Telecommunication and Information Administration has already hosted similar discussions on mobile app privacy and facial recognition privacy but with mixed results. Privacy groups pulled out of the facial recognition discussions in June, saying the process wouldn't lead to enough protections for consumers.

It's unclear how many privacy and consumer groups will take part in the discussions about drones.

Still, they present several privacy challenges that the NTIA discussions can address, said Angela Simpson, the agency's deputy assistant secretary for communications and information. President Barack Obama asked the agency earlier this year to host the discussions on privacy, she noted in a blog post.

"From enhancing news gathering, improving agribusiness, providing new delivery models, to providing Internet in remote areas, the possibilities for UAS are staggering," Simpson wrote, referring to unmanned aircraft systems. "Consumer trust and responsible operation are keys to fully tapping the transformative potential of unmanned aircraft."

In April, NTIA received more than 50 comments about drone privacy issues from individuals and companies.

Many residents get "needlessly upset" about drones flying around their neighborhoods, wrote Denver photographer Vic Moss, who uses drones to take pictures.

"Instead of wasting time and resources coming up with new legislation and regulation, simply use our county's limited resources we have to educate the general public about what the expectation privacy actually is," Moss wrote. The NTIA meetings are "simply a solution looking for a problem to attach to."

One critic of the NTIA's past privacy efforts said the Obama administration is "flying blind when it comes to privacy."

With the privacy groups walking out of the facial recognition talks, the intended multistakeholder discussions have become "uni" stakeholder, with only industry represented, said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, one of the groups that walked out.

"Consumer and privacy groups don't have confidence in the process," Chester said via email. "Protecting privacy from the use of drones requires a serious effort that the [NTIA] has so far failed to demonstrate."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags popular scienceroboticsregulationsecurityJeffery ChesterCenter for Digital DemocracygovernmentU.S. National Telecommunication and Information AdministrationprivacyAngela SimpsonVic Moss

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?