The advancements in technology over the last 150 years have allowed humans to experience life in ways never thought possible. Whether contacting a friend living on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds; looking up the answer to most questions on a device that fits in our front pocket; visiting a family member living across the country by plane, train or car; or viewing the landscape we stand on from the air with the use of drones.
While each advancement in technology generally improves the overall quality of life experienced by most humans, nearly every advancement inevitably comes with unintended consequences. Currently, the advancement of drone technology has spurred one of the hottest debates across the globe. Specifically: how to balance public safety and privacy with the freedom to use a drone. At the time of this writing, laws governing the use of drones are fairly limited. Dr. Adam Zwickle and Dr. Joseph Hamm recently set out to compare public opinion on the use of drones to the laws regulating their use. The findings suggest a rather large gap between public preference for laws that protect a citizen’s privacy and current regulations in place.
Generally, the public supported policies and regulations that protected their privacy and limited their vulnerability to unwanted drone activity. The public did not generally support policies that limited the use of drones for public safety. While the Government continues to debate regulations on drones and their use, the team of researchers say “additional regulations for other types and sizes of drones [will likely have to be] introduced in the future.” Zwickle and Hamm hope that their findings will be considered in creating regulations that balance public safety and public interest.