Better Late than Never – A Government Consultation on Drones

Big Brother Watch Team / December 21, 2016

The Department for Transport has delivered an early Christmas present in the shape of its long overdue consultation on the use of drones in the UK.

Drones are a very real threat to our privacy and our safety and as such need to be properly regulated. Big Brother Watch has called for proper controls on drone use for some time now, so it’s heartening to see a number of our suggestions being included in the proposals.

The consultation covers a wide range of topics including the testing of drones, insurance and, most importantly, how to make sure the technology is used in a privacy friendly way.

The introduction of a “registration scheme” for drones is hugely welcome and would be a positive step forward.  If done properly it will have the power to create a system which should ensure that anyone who misuses a drone can be identified, apprehended and stopped.

The consultation also addresses the critical issue of how to ensure drone users know what the law is.  Currently many people flying drones have very little idea of what is required of them. The Civil Aviation Authority publish clear and understandable information but there is currently no requirement for this guidance to be attached to every drone at the point of purchase.  It is reassuring to see this issue addressed in the consultation.

As complaints about drones rise year on year the publication of this consultation has the scope to make a real, positive change and establish laws which will ensure that privacy and safety can be at the heart of drone use going forward.  To achieve this it is important that the potential of this consultation is not wasted.  Over the coming weeks Big Brother Watch will be preparing our response to the Department of Transport’s consultation and we encourage anyone with an interest in the area to do the same. You can make your thoughts heard here: >https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/benefits-of-drones-to-the-uk-economy.