WEB & TECH / FEB. 23, 2015
version 2, draft 2

GET THE HELL OUT OF MY AIRSPACE!!!

As with most technology, drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) have gone from an exclusively military application to being used in private and commercial ways. Companies such as Google, Amazon and even logistics giant DHL are looking into implementing drones for the delivery and transport of their packages, but a small issue arises (Get it? Arises? Like a drone? Fine! I’ll laugh at my own joke, hahahaha). The issue that drone manufacturers are trying to avoid is a matter of privacy, because many consumer ready UAV’s are equipped with cameras, both for photography and navigation.

How are they Trying to Use Drones?

As I mentioned in the introduction companies are looking to drone technology to lower their cost of delivery. It would also allow areas to be accessed quicker where ground transport isn’t feasible. DHL is already planning for such a scenario with various test flights being flown to the island and nature preserve of Juist. Not only is Juist a commercial no-fly zone, motor vehicles are also prohibited on the island. Google, Amazon and even Domino’s are up against a whole other can of worms. The problem these U.S. based companies are up against, is the dated FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations regarding U.A.V.s Google [x] is currently developing their Project Wing in Australia and Amazon is hoping to launch drone delivery in India.

What Does any of this Have to do with Anything?

OK, so I’ll try to bring this back in, there are multiple reasons the FAA is nervous about drones. There are safety concerns, cell phone towers, other aircraft to crash into and privacy issues. It’s also very new technology which excites private companies, but makes U.S. agencies tremble, because new tech means new ways it can go wrong or be used badly. Amazon, Google and DHL might regulate themselves when it comes to the type of items they deliver via their drone service, but that might not be the case for private drone owners (helicopter delivered, narcotics, just saying). Google, Amazon and DHL will make sure not to fly in densely populated areas with the purpose to catch someone with their pants down, but private drone owners might.

OH THE PRIVACY!!!

In this society of NSA taps and Google watching us take a shower, people are freaking out about the ramifications of a camera mounted helicopter flying over their house multiple times a day. Will it watch us eat and beam ads for our favorite foods to our computer? Will it watch us as we sexual role-play My Little Pony episodes? Will it start getting suspicious of my anti-government ideologies when it sees me wearing a tin foil hat? A tin foil hat, by the way, that prevents it (the goverment) from boiling my brains by beaming microwaves at my head from the drone. All of those concerns are reasonable, well except the tin foil hat one, but even you: tin foil hat wearing government conspiracy theorists are entitled to privacy, no matter how paranoid that idea of privacy is. It seems like drone manufacturers are more than aware of these privacy issues and their already taking action. 

Image source: addictinginfo

STAY OFF MY AIRSPACE

If you’re paranoid or just a crotchety old man that gets annoyed at those young whippersnappers flying their quad-do-hickey’s over your front lawn, you can sign up for NoFlyZone. Enter your address and that information along with other people’s will be added to the drones of participating manufacturers. This will physically veer the drone away from the coordinates of anyone’s house that is on the list.

Image source: pinterest

Bonus Nerd Fodder

Check out the anticlimactic video below as a hat tip to my nerdy brethren

Will you sit on your roof with a six pack of Coors and a shotgun shooting those ‘damn buzzies’ out of the sky? Or are you a little bit more well-adjusted and looking forward to drone delivery? Let me know in the comment section below.

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