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Looking For UAV Privacy Violation Instances

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Not A Speck Of Cereal, Sep 24, 2016.

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  1. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Hi all,

    Have you come across any published stories about people flying UAVs that have been prosecuted for actually invading someone's privacy?

    Exclusions: I don't mean the frequent reports we hear of someone shooting a UAV out of the air simply because it flew over their private property. I also do not mean stories of people legally flying a UAV in a public space that was accused of invading the privacy of other people in that public area.

    I mean people who use a UAV with intent to invade someone's privacy and got caught. There should be proof, such as some authority getting ahold of recordings that showed that the UAV operator was filming people in their private space. It could be a UAV in the sky over filming down on people in their private property, or a UAV in a public space that was using their camera to record into someone's private space (into their house, apartment, condo, etc.).

    Disclaimer: I realize that invasion of privacy is a delicate matter and does not have to involve any particular nefarious purpose. Any privacy invasion is wrong regardless of intent.

    My reasons: Aside from the exclusions mentioned above, I can't recall any actual examples. When a total stranger comes up to me while I'm flying in a public place and tells me that what I'm doing isn't cool, the conversation at that point can go several ways.

    In general, my responses have evolved to the point where I say "I'm not doing anything wrong, but I can see that you have an issue with it, so as soon as I'm done with this shoot, I will pack up and leave". That is usually enough.

    But sometimes we ask "why" and the answer is typically something about invasion of privacy. We can then engage with them in discussions about how that argument doesn't work in places like a public parks and beaches (that have no specific ordinances about flying UAVs); but sometimes I want to ask "when was the last time you read a story about someone with one of these actually invading personal privacy?"

    Chris
     
  2. GMack

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    Gov. Brown in CA signed some "Paparazzi Drone Bill" that seems to have far reaching circumstances: AB856.

    Bill Text - AB-856 Invasion of privacy.

    Portion of it:
    1708.8.
    (a) A person is liable for physical invasion of privacy when the person knowingly enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of another person without permission or otherwise commits a trespass in order to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a private, personal, or familial activity and the invasion occurs in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person.

    Has it been applied I don't know.
     
  3. ROD PAINTER

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    I thought the FAA had all authority of airspace over 100Ft. i am not a legal expert on this subject but it would seem to me that if flying over 100FT local authorities would not have any juristiction over this.
     
  4. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Good one, thanks. I actually had that listed under my exclusions, but it got removed somehow. Paparazzi should be held accountable for privacy incursions, of course.

    I guess the spirit of my request is find out where people from our realm (the recreational UAV operator) has stepped out of bounds and where that's been documented.

    I realize there are probably some commercial UAV operators here too (that are not paparazzi or the like) and may have been accused of invasion of privacy in the line of their work, but they can always point to documentation and say "Nuh-uh, I'm working here".

    Chris
     
    ROD PAINTER likes this.
  5. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Good question. I don't know how far that would go to placate the typical citizen accusing us of nefarious deeds, but at least that would help of the cops are called (and said police officers are tending not to know better).

    Chris
     
  6. ROD PAINTER

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    I keep a copy of FAA regulations for non commercial use with me at all times along with my uav registration. I posted in another thread about local police stopping at my house where I fly from almost every night. They had one complaint about swarms of bees above his house. They were more interested in the technology of my P3P and wanted to see it fly and the one cop said he was looking in to buying a P4. He came back sometime later and blamed me for him buying a P4 (lol) and had a few questions that I could answer and I told him to join our forums. When he left he said have fun and dont worry about your neighbors complaining. I am fortunate to have good relationship with my local police dept. Also fortunate that my son is a cop in a nearby community and he knows all the police in my area including State Police! Sorry for ranting on but wnted to share this with you!!
     
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  7. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    Yes, most cops seem to know better. In fact, my record has been 100% positive with them.
     
    ROD PAINTER likes this.
  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    That 100' mention is not codified. It's the amount of airspace the property owner can utilize or something like that. In other words if someone has a silo/tower etc at 200' high then they are "using" airspace up to that height.

    As of right now there is no hard and fast # for "public/private" airspace until it gets challenged and resolved in a court of law.
     
    Falcon900 and ROD PAINTER like this.
  9. GMack

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    City ordinances trump FAA rules where they ban drones outright like in parks, etc. States have some of their own (odd) drone laws too like bothering hunters (TN, http://uavs.insct.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/TN-SB-1777-2014.pdf ) where is also illegal to photograph a legal hunter via a drone. CA also has their CARB (California Air Resources Board) that overrules the federal smog laws and CA writes their own laws. City gun laws, bans, etc. A lot is done at the local level at times and the feds stay out of it.

    Drones are still a very gray area in law, imho. It may not be black and white for a long time.

    Someone on here had a post a while back on names of people and companies the FAA were after and the fines involved. Highest was $18K by a commercial outfit (Judging from their name.). Most seem in the eastern part of the US too. The hobbyist who posted his drone video on Youtube said his initial fine was $10K for flying over people (FAA called it reckless) and it was negotiated down to $3K. (Search Posting drone videos on Youtube are illegal by FAA or similar.).
     
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