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Presidential executive order over drone usage reportedly on the way

updated 07:34 am EDT, Fri July 25, 2014

NTIA may be called to create voluntary best practices for commercial drones

President Barack Obama may issue privacy guidelines for commercial drones in the United States, claims a report. Plans to issue an executive order allegedly involve the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) working with consumer groups, and companies planning to operate drones in the future, to create "voluntary best practices" for the unmanned aircraft.

The executive order is said by Politico to stem from complaints over the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its current drone rule creation process. While the FAA is examining the safety and legalities of low-risk commercial drone flights, such as Amazon deliveries, it is apparently not examining privacy-related issues closely enough. The most obvious involves commercial filmmakers sending up a drone and filming through a house's windows without permission, though it is also argued that taking video of someone's fenced-off back yard could also be considered a breach of privacy, even in passing.

Amazon Prime Air drone
Amazon Prime Air drone

It is likely the best practices will also involve when, where, and how commercial drones fly, something which the FAA has to decide upon itself before a September 2015 deadline set by Congress. While the FAA rules and NTIA best practices will almost certainly dictate personal drone usage in some way, the latter will not affect governmental drone usage.

There is no word on when the order will be issued, and though White House officials did not comment, spokesman Ned Price did advise "there is an inter-agency process underway."

by MacNN Staff



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