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Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones and the Things They Carry

18 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013 Last revised: 29 Mar 2014

Margot E. Kaminski

University of Colorado Law School; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project; Yale University - Law School; University of Colorado at Boulder - Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship

Date Written: April 26, 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Drones, Privacy, First Amendment

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2257080

Margot E. Kaminski (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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

University of Colorado at Boulder - Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship ( email )

Wolf Law Building
2450 Kittredge Loop Road
Boulder, CO
United States

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