Deploying Drones in Policing Southern European Borders: Constraints and Challenges for Data Protection and Human Rights
Završnik (ed.), Drones and Unmanned Aerial Systems: Legal and Social Implications for Security and Surveillance, Springer, 2015
32 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2015
The chapter explores the challenges underlying the policy choice of deploying drone-technology in the area of border surveillance, with specific reference to the surveillance of European Union (EU) Member States’ external southern borders.
Border surveillance is one of the top priorities of the Member States of the EU for several reasons: the first is the management of, or rectius, the fight against irregular migration, and cross-border crime. Within this context, public agencies (at both the national and the European level) are investing important resources in deploying the most up-to-date technologies, in an attempt to stop undesired migrants. The deployment of drones for border policing purposes is already a reality in the US, and also in some EU Member States. Frontex has also devoted attention and resources to exploring the possibility of deploying drones in border surveillance, as they are seen as beneficial assets in the perspective of EUROSUR.
The aim of this chapter is to explore the recent developments constituted by the deployment of drone technology in border surveillance. The chapter firstly introduces the actors, policies and practices in the sphere of border management, specifically in the area of border surveillance (2); then it discusses the use of drone technology for border surveillance, looking at its potentialities but also at its current shortcomings (3); it will then move toward the regulatory framework enabling the safe deployment of drones under aviation law and on border surveillance (4) and present the constraints represented by fundamental rights and data protection rules on drone technology and the challenges drones represent for the human rights of migrants (5), before concluding that drone technology might entail a further securitization of border surveillance, together with a shift toward preventive border surveillance (6).
Keywords: drones, UAVs, RPAS, border surveillance, Frontex, EUROSUR, operation Mare Nostrum, Schengen Borders Code, privacy, data protection
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