Drones and Privacy Governance
Gregory S. McNeal
Pepperdine University School of Law; Pepperdine University - School of Public Policy
December 1, 2012
Unmanned systems (drones) and other technological innovations raise serious questions about modern conceptions of privacy. This paper examines the constitutional doctrine related to aerial surveillance and technology, and finds that current doctrine is unlikely to prevent the use of unmanned systems. The paper next addresses calls to create a statutory requirement that will subject the use of unmanned systems to the warrant requirement. These calls are rejected because they fail to protect privacy, while unnecessarily hampering legitimate law enforcement efforts. To best protect privacy, the paper suggests various mechanisms of democratically centered privacy governance, and a regulatory regime to govern the use of unmanned systems. The paper's appendix includes a model bill appropriate for adoption by cities, states, and the federal government. The bill outlines the various privacy governance measures discussed in the body of the paper.
Keywords: drones, unmanned systems, privacy, privacy governance, civil liberties, legislation, FAA, fourth amendment, constitutional rights, technologyworking papers series
Date posted: December 2, 2012
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