Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working diligently to expand the use of drones for American national security. Whereas drones have been extensively used in foreign lands, the U.S. authorities now intend to use them also for domestic security. And this may have critical bearings on the privacy rights of the individuals.
Now, U.S. Congress has released a report which forewarns about the future uses of drones, domestically. According to this report, FAA has plans of making drones an integral part of domestic security by 2015.
These drones will be in air to carry out multi-level surveillance activities. These machines will be equipped with numerous tools such as thermal imaging, license plate readers and high-powered cameras which can capture on-ground activities.
In fact, it is hinted that soon, drones will have the capabilities to read the faces of people from air and identify them through facial recognition. This may essentially infringe on the privacy rights of individuals.
The report by Congress says that the U.S. courts may not be fully equipped to give decisions regarding drones and the surveillance they carry out, due to the sheer sophistication of the technology it uses. Referring to the drastically falling prices of drones, the report cites that “access to inexpensive technology may significantly reduce budgetary concerns that once checked the government from widespread surveillance.”
Private drones are also being allowed into the airspace which, although can be used for research, may also be deployed to other nefarious purposes and can essentially violate the citizens’ privacy.