The Take-Off of Drones: Developing the New Zealand Torts of Privacy to Meet the Rise in Civilian Drone Technology

39 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

See all articles by Ashley Varney

Ashley Varney

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: September 1, 2016

Abstract

This paper assesses the privacy ramifications associated with the rise in the use of civilian drone technology. It discusses the capabilities of drones to take photographs, record videos and undertake ongoing surveillance, and distinguishes these capabilities from previous similar technologies such as CCTV and standard cameras. It is argued that the current approach to the New Zealand privacy torts is not adequate to allow for effective claims when breaches of privacy occur by drone operators. It is advocated that the theoretical premise of the torts, and the overall protection of privacy, is best served by emphasis on both a normative and multifaceted approach to the test of a reasonable expectation of privacy where drones are concerned. Moreover, privacy breaches by drones may be undermined by the highly offensive requirement found within both torts, as well as the mental element of intention found within the C v Holland tort.

Keywords: Drones, Privacy, Tort, Wrongful Publication of Private Facts, Intrusion into Seclusion

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K13, K30

Suggested Citation

Varney, Ashley, The Take-Off of Drones: Developing the New Zealand Torts of Privacy to Meet the Rise in Civilian Drone Technology (September 1, 2016). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 22/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2988872

Ashley Varney (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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