We now live in a world where drones are a thing, and those things are equipped (most of them) with cameras. If you add together this fact with the fact that a drone can fly almost anywhere, you may come to the conclusion that your privacy is at stake, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
A lot of people have voiced concerns that camera-equipped drones will start snapping pictures of homes, people in backyards, people visible through windows, and pretty much the entire layout of your home.
In response to this privacy concern, a new website has been set up. This site is called ‘NoFlyZone,’ and it’s kind of like a no call list for drones. If you don’t want a drone to fly anywhere near your home, you can add your address to the database that’s stored on the NoFlyZone website, and a number of drones won’t fly near your home. How can you be sure? Some drone manufacturers have agreed to abide by this list.
The list of done manufacturers that have agreed to address restrictions listed on NoFlyZone isn’t exhausted by any means, but many of the top manufacturers are part of this list. These manufacturers have agreed to synch the NoFlyList with drones. The effect is that these drones will automatically “know” not to fly over those addresses listed. The idea, in theory, is a good one, but there are some limitations here.
First, addresses will be stored as firmware, so it’s hard to determine how often drones will gain updates from the list. Second, the database itself has to be entirely secure, otherwise you’re going to be giving up your home address. Third, since a bunch of drone manufacturers haven’t signed on to be a part of the list, there are plenty of drones out there that can still fly over your home. Right now, there’s no law that really stops drones from flying over homes and snapping photos, and that’s kind of a scary thought.
Since drone manufacturers don’t have to abide by the NoFlyZone laws legally, it’s not entirely within their interest to do so. These retailers and manufacturers want to appeal to those people that want to buy drones, and this means not abiding by rules such as no fly rules. This is why you won’t find any drones made by Amazon, Google, Parrot, or DJI as part of the NoFlyZone agreement list.
Manufacturers that have signed up to be a part of the NoFlyZone list include DroneDeply, HEXO+, YUNEEC, and Ehang. Currently, though, any person buying a drone through Amazon or Google can fly over your home, snap photos, and store those photos, and there’s not much that you can do about it (other than take down the drone) right now.
Clearly, there’s a bit privacy issue here. The NoFlyZone list does help in some capacity, but it will only be entirely effective if every drone manufacturer becomes part of the list, and that’s not likely to happen any time soon, unfortunately.