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Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Coming of the Drones

We live in a time of very rapid change that makes it impossible for the laws of the land to keep pace. It is also a time when new innovations arrive without the implications being fully anticipated. This is not a call for a slow down in new technology. If it were it would not matter one bit because the forecast is that the pace of new technology is about to rapidly increase. It looks as though it will be a future of build it and then catch-up.

Such is the case concerning the development of commercial drones. They are here, and now uses for them are being sought. One obvious use is that of ariel photography. This replaces the old camera on a balloon and is much more practical as the camera can be moved about as you wish. This would be particulary useful in survey work, and could be used to observe large crowds, whether in peaceful assembly or in uprisings.

On the dark side, drones can be used to deliberately, or accidentally invade people's privacy. Think of the owners of a large estate that is surrounded by walls that lock out curiousity seekers from observing what takes place inside the walls. In most cases probably  nothing out of the ordinary takes place, but the point is made by the installation of the wall that the owner requires his privacy. 

Sending a drone overhead, especially at the low altitudes they fly would be very intimidating. It would not be known if the drone carried a camera or not, so, I think if I were one of the lucky people to have a large estate, this would be a major issue for me.

I suppose the first thing to come to mind is matters dealing with nudity and sex. Some owners probably have liberal attitudes with nudity and sun worship and probably engage in fun outdoors, including sexual intercourse in the sun, that they would rather not be  interrupted by commercial drones. That still leaves police and news helicopters that fly overhead, but usually at much greater heights. Still, cameras with long zooms are very invasive, and are a direct threat.

It would seem to me a much greater concern would be the security threat that one of these drones with camera could represent. In the hands of the wrong people it could gather details of the layout of the property so that a plan to breakin could be developed from the air. Even if the drone were not flown directly over the property, data could still be collected using side-view cameras.

My hope is that there will be such positive uses for the commercial drone as to override loss of privacy concerns. A simple tent could regain the specific privacy you might want. If the drone can serve in life saving situations, or to simply deliver food packages to people who would otherwise find it extremely difficult to go to the shop, then the cost of a tent would be well worth it.

This is a case of our having to stay tuned while the development plays itself out to the nth degree.

These are indeed interesting times!

Copyright (c) 2016
Eugene Carmichael