The Drone as Privacy Catalyst

Ryan Calo

University of Washington - School of Law; Stanford University - Law School

December 12, 2011

Stanford Law Review Online, Vol. 64, pp. 29-33 (2011)

Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis could describe what a privacy violation looked like: sensational journalists armed with newly developed “instantaneous photographs” splashing pictures of a respectable wedding on the pages of every newspaper. Their influential 1890 article The Right To Privacy crystallized an image of technology-fueled excess, which the authors leveraged to jump-start privacy law in the United States. Today there is no story, no vivid and specific instance of a paradigmatic privacy violation in a digital universe, upon which citizens and lawmakers can premise their concern. The widespread domestic use of drones, however, may help restore our mental model of a privacy violation. They could be just the visceral jolt society needs to drag privacy law into the twenty-first century. The resulting backlash could force us to reexamine not merely the use of drones to observe, but the doctrines that today permit this use.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 5

Keywords: privacy, surveillance, drones

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Date posted: October 16, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Calo, Ryan, The Drone as Privacy Catalyst (December 12, 2011). Stanford Law Review Online, Vol. 64, pp. 29-33 (2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2340753

Contact Information

Ryan Calo (Contact Author)
University of Washington - School of Law ( email )
William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

Stanford University - Law School ( email )
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
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