'Voluntary' NTIA Drone Best Practices Likely to Shape Federal Law
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released a set of what the agency calls voluntary best practices for unmanned aircraft system privacy, transparency and accountability.
The guidelines are the result of a White House memo that directed the agency to develop a set of privacy standards for drone use. The best practices document is divided into two parts, the actual document and an appendix that summarizes the jargon-filled best practices document.
The best practices are basically a set of rules that boil down to not using information gathered by drones (primarily images) of what the document calls "data subjects" (people) without their permission and making sure to protect that information in a manner similar to how companies currently protect other consumer information. This means, among other things, not retaining that information any longer than necessary.
What's notable in the main document is that there are as many disclaimers as there are best practices. The voluntary rules are filled with phrases like "where possible" while also pointing out that it does not give drone users any cover for violating existing laws and regulations.
NEWS ANALYSIS: New drone guidelines from the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration are intended to help protect the public's privacy while engaging in drone use, but the guidelines are voluntary.
In addition, the document exempts the news media from those suggested rules because, of course, that might infringe on First Amendment freedoms.