Secrecy News

Domestic Drones & Privacy, and More from CRS

The anticipated deployment of thousands of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) — or drones — in American skies raises unresolved privacy concerns that have barely begun to be addressed, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

The CRS report provides “a primer on privacy issues related to various UAS operations, both public and private, including an overview of current UAS uses, the privacy interests implicated by these operations, and various potential approaches to UAS privacy regulation.” See Domestic Drones and Privacy: A Primer, March 30, 2015.

This week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed suit against the Federal Aviation Administration arguing that the FAA was obliged to establish privacy rules for commercial drones and that it had failed to do so.

The privacy implications of drones have been discussed in several congressional hearings over the past two years, yielding these published hearing volumes:

U.S. Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Integration, Oversight, and Competitiveness, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, December 10, 2014

Eyes in the Sky: The Domestic Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems, House Judiciary Committee, May 17, 2013

The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations, Senate Judiciary Committee, March 20, 2013

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Other new or updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: In Brief, March 27, 2015

The United Kingdom: Background and Relations with the United States, March 27, 2015

Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention, March 26, 2015

Peace Talks in Colombia, March 31, 2015

Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile, March 31, 2015

Supervised Release (Parole): An Overview of Federal Law, March 5, 2015