Drone Users Face New Rules on Registration and Privacy across the US, EU and UK
In the last week of December, the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration announced final rules for Unmanned Aircraft, commonly known as drones. The new rules will require Remote Identification of drones and allow operators of small drones to fly over people and at night under certain conditions. Around the same time, new rules are coming into force across all EU member states, Norway and Iceland, and they will also be mirrored by the UK. The rules make it clear where drones can be flown, as well as making it easier to trace owners. The distinction between commercial and recreational use has been removed, potentially paving the way for more drone uses. Under the rules, even small drones will need to be registered with the relevant aviation authority. Although the relaxation is a boon to a commercial small drone sector, there has been a vocal cry of disappointment by some in the drone sector, including Alphabet's Wing team, which sees a major privacy flaw. Its critics support remote ID in drones as a necessary development. What Wing and others are taking exception to is the singular way that flight information is broadcast in the current framework, and to whom.