The bill opens with an explanation that drones have a potential to “enable invasive and pervasive surveillance without adequate privacy protections.” It claims that as the law stands currently, there are no privacy protections in place with specific reference to drone technology.
The privacy protections that the bill hopes to put into place are, for the most part, related to a disclosure of information from drone pilots. This information would be compiled into a “data collection statement.”
If the bill were to pass, no “certificate, license, or other grant of authority” could be used without a data collection statement. Such a statement would need to include the following information:
- Who will operate the drone
- Where the drone will fly
- Maximum flight times
- Possible impact of drone operation on privacy of individuals
- Phone number or email
- Whether the drone will collect data about groups or individuals
- Possible impact of flight upon individuals’ privacy
If the drone will be collecting data about a person or group of people, the following information would also need to be included in the data collection statement:
- What information is being collected
- How that data will be used, disclosed, and handled
- How unrelated data will be minimized
- How long data will be retained
The only exception listed for the above requirements is for newsgathering purposes
Law enforcement agencies would have the additional requirement of compiling a data minimization statement, which would detail the policies for minimizing collection of information unrelated to criminal investigations and require the destruction or that unrelated information. They would also need a warrant to use drones to gather data.
Additionally, the bill would require the creation of a publicly searchable database of drone operators. The database would include their contact information, drone registration number, relevant licenses and certificates, and details of “where, when, and for what purpose each unmanned aircraft system will be operated.”
Operators found to be in violation of these proposed rules could be fined up to $1,000 for each unintentional violation and $3,000 for each intentional violation — as well as revocation of the operator’s FAA certificate or license.