Keywords: drones, UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, UASs, unmanned aerial systems, RPAs, remotely piloted aircraft, data protection law, privacy law, domestic security, justice, surveillance, aviation law, drone usage, civil liberties, national security, legislative reform
Privacy law implications of the use of drones for security and justice purposes
With the advent of new technologies, new means of surveillance and data collection have appeared on the radar. Drones are among the latest to be considered for domestic security purposes, both in the EU and the USA. After surveying some examples of the non–warfare use of drone for security and criminal justice purposes, this article analyses applicable privacy and data protection legislation and constitutional guarantees, on both sides of the Atlantic. This study extends to the application to drone–generated data of, inter alia, the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, Council of Europe instruments, and the EU Data Protection Framework, highlighting challenges to civil liberties and tensions between these and national security and justice concerns. Finally, this article looks briefly at proposals for legislative reform regarding drones at the US State and Federal levels and prospects for future legislation.