The Daily Business Review put out an article on May 14th titled, “Florida Drone Privacy Bill Could Limit Industry’s Growth” by Zachary D. Ludens. (You have to register for the site but if you do, you get 5 free reads per month.)
The article discusses an amendment to the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” that allows individuals to sue people or companies they feel violated their reasonable expectation of privacy with regards to their privately owned real property with the use of drones. The Act was originally signed to limit how law enforcement could use drones and now it has expanded to private and commercial users. The article describes how although the law is forward thinking and means well, it could have unintended consequences and negatively impact Florida’s economy and limit the growth of the drone industry in the state. The main concern is with the word “reasonable” and that the law leaves too much room for interpretation. This grey area could create a scenario for messy law suits that will motivate corporations utilizing drones to stay out of Florida. I thought the article was pretty good and if you are looking to use drones for commercial purposes, local laws are certainly something you need to be aware of. I give it (4 drones out of 5).
My Take – I understand a certain level a fear exists with the general public that drones will be used to spy on them in their backyards while they swim in their pools or whatever they do. But laws that appear to be knee-jerk reactions to unrealized fears in my opinion, are dangerous.
Bad and/or dumb people exists, they always have and always will, and some will decided to use drones in bad ways. However, as with anything else, I believe it will be the exception versus the rule. I think trying to litigate for the exception in any matter for a perceived future problem, before you really understand the true issues, is short-sighted. As I have stated before, I feel the advent of drones has the potential to offer much more good than bad for society. I think local and state governments need to give the industry a chance to evolve and not limit the positive economic impact before the real problems are understood. Then once real issues start appearing that need to be addressed, smart commonsense laws can be created to provide effective solutions.
What’s your take?