It is the debate that has been around long before the use of UAVs, ensuring the security of society versus the invasion of privacy.
However, the debate of continues as regulatory bodies respond to the increased use of UAV around the globe in security roles.
There is little doubt that the use of a well-equipped and highly capable ‘eye in the sky’ is now becoming a must have for all emergency responders to capture, record and disseminate vital information that is used in critical decision making.
High quality information, leads to more informed decisions being made. But there are several questions that remain open regarding the policy, operation, and security of the information being captured. Some of which include:
- Who will see the data being created?
- How will the data be protected from those that are not allowed access?
- Will the use be in a reactive or proactive manner?
- How will the privacy of society be ensured?
Related article: What Do Drones Mean to the Future of Personal Privacy?
How will law enforcement use UAVs?
With ever growing interest from emergency responders and law enforcement agencies across the globe turning to UAVs as an upper hand in their daily efforts against crime, it is safe to bet that there will be a continued increase in demand for platforms, payloads, training, servicing and maintenance for many years to come.
So what is the best practice for these applications?
Should law enforcement use this capability as a foundation of their day to day roles? Or should there be dedicated teams that provide this capability, such as SWAT teams provide an added capability compared to regular police officers?
How will laws be enforced?
A growing market in counter UAV activities is slowly emerging and providing options to military and law enforcement agencies. Ideas from geo-fencing, nets and even lasers have all been identified as possible solutions to assist authorities in the regulation of illegal UAVs usage.
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In addition to the questions around the use of UAVs for good, future discussions about the tools available to law enforcement agencies to ensure that UAVs that are being used for illegal activities can be stopped will need to take place.
So what will the future look like?
Will we see fleets of police UAVs chasing and stopping unregistered UAVs? Similar to a police officer stopping a driver on the highway?
Or swarms of UAVs awaiting deployment once an illegal activity has been reported?
What rights will law enforcement have to search, and or detain a UAV and its pilot?
Let us know your thoughts by emailing us here.