The Satellite and the Individual: The Legal Resolution of Remote Sensing

Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law 2016

Posted: 4 Jun 2019

See all articles by P. J. Blount

P. J. Blount

Universite du Luxembourg - Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance; University of Mississippi - School of Law

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

International remote sensing law is built on an egalitarian set of principles that grants liberal rights for states to sense other states, but also gives sensed states claims to access to the data gathered about their territories. These principles underpinned the verification mechanisms in disarmament law, and they would later come to assist in setting up disaster management regimes. But these principles apply to states sensing other states, and in general ignore legal rights or claims related to the individual. In general, such claims fall to national law to address, which for much of the life of the technology has been an adequate way to manage these rules.

Remote sensing technologies have advanced since the time that the laws were written. Significantly their resolution has increased dramatically. Additionally, the data these satellites collect has become enmeshed in a large ecosystem of geographical information systems (GIS) that leverage network technology, computer processing, and big data to create data rich spatial applications. These modern GIS systems are employed ubiquitously by commercial actors, governments, and individuals. They are not limited to presenting purely geographic information as they allow for the integration of various data points. This means that GIS technologies present myriad issues for the individual as GIS implicates individual privacy, security, and freedom.

Keywords: Space Law, Remote Sensing, Earth Observation, Human Rights Law

Suggested Citation

Blount, P. J., The Satellite and the Individual: The Legal Resolution of Remote Sensing (2016). Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3388616

P. J. Blount (Contact Author)

Universite du Luxembourg - Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance ( email )

162a, avenue de la Faïencerie
Luxembourg-Limpertsberg, L-1511
Luxembourg

University of Mississippi - School of Law ( email )

Lamar Law Center
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
United States

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