Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones and the Things They Carry

Margot E. Kaminski

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project; Yale University - Law School

April 26, 2013

4 California Law Review Circuit 57 (2013)

Civilian drones are scheduled to be permitted in the national airspace as early as 2015. Many think Congress should be charged with establishing the necessary nationwide regulations to govern drone use. That thinking, however, is wrong. This Essay suggests drone federalism instead: a state-based approach to the privacy regulation that governs drone use by civilians, drawing on states’ experience regulating other forms of civilian-on-civilian surveillance. This approach will allow necessary experimentation in how to best balance privacy concerns against First Amendment rights in the imminent era of drone-use democratization. This Essay closes by providing some guidance to states as to the potential axes of drone-related privacy regulations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: Drones, Privacy, First Amendment

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Date posted: April 28, 2013 ; Last revised: March 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Kaminski, Margot E., Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones and the Things They Carry (April 26, 2013). 4 California Law Review Circuit 57 (2013) . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2257080

Contact Information

Margot E. Kaminski (Contact Author)
Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
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