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  • John Jones

Drones, Useful Tool, Invasion of Privacy or Nuisance?

The world of SUA's (small unmanned aircraft's) has grown substantially over the past few years due to the progression of technology and the realization of their usefulness, whether the user utilizes the drone's "usefulness" for good or bad will influence the public's perception of the drone industry.


We have all heard of the various incidents that have really tarnished the SUA's reputation, such as that of the closure of London Gatwick Airport between December 19th - 21st 2018 causing delays and cancellation and affecting approximately 140,000 passengers. Perhaps this is all a person has heard about in terms of the use of drones, and therefore one would understand why that individual would be so anti drone. But can we judge the whole SUA industry on one irresponsible pilot? Perhaps we can, because if one person can affect over 140,000 people, what could two people do?


There is always two sides to a coin, in this case we must look at the benefits drones can and have given society such as:


- Emergency services are able to effectively ascertain dangers, initiate rescue operations or conduct man hunts more effectively whilst reducing risk to the individuals whom would usually potentially be putting their own lives at risk. An example of this; when pilots of SUA's were able to fly drone's from boats miles away from the volcano eruption in New Zealand to search for survivors and ascertain the current level of danger for search and rescue parties.

- In the Construction industry drones have helped no end, the ability to explore virgin sites from unique angles to see their viability for new builds, or investigate high level defects without risking injury or cost and the ability to survey potential high level failure. These have all saved time, potential injuries and cost not only to the contractor, planner or surveyor but also the client.

- There is even talk of leading online sales platforms using SUA's to make deliveries to customers in the future. This on the face of it sounds quite scary, but the benefits are clear not only will it save time and improve efficiency but it will help to clear the roads which inevitability reduces carbon footprint, which is always a win considering our current targets and the failures we have seen to date.


The list of benefits could go on and on, but do these benefits affect your privacy? Perhaps it does, it is in fact inevitable that these SUA's will fly over your house and even potentially capture you in your garden doing whatever you do in your garden. It is easy to become paranoid in this era of increasing privacy invading technologies, but it is again inevitable, with phones, tablets, smart devices, SUA's and even cars not to mention satellites and the dreaded Government spies. Unfortunately most are powerless to these privacy invading gadgets and it is a undeniable fact that one must accept these invasions or become a recluse.


In the end drones are much like any other forward moving technology, the benefits are many, but unfortunately with benefits always come negatives and the potential to use drones for bad as well as good is a real possibility.


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