Alphabet, Inc. Doesn’t Like the FAA’s New Drone Rules, Cites “User Privacy” Concerns

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The FAA’s introduction of a set of rules and regulations didn’t come as a surprise to anyone but some of the opposition to it is arriving from surprising places.

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels.

One of them is Alphabet, Inc.’s division Wing. The Google parent company’s UAV division doesn’t think the new rules the FAA introduced protect user privacy.

In a blog post discussing the new set of regulations, Wing wrote: ““This approach creates barriers to compliance and will have unintended negative privacy impacts for businesses and consumers…an observer tracking a drone can infer sensitive information about specific users, including where they visit, spend time, and live and where customers receive packages from and when.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that China-based DJI, the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones, took a different tact, saying that the company “has long supported the FAA’s Remote ID initiative because it will enhance drone accountability, safety and security… We are reviewing the final rule to understand how DJI can take steps towards complying with the FAA’s upcoming requirements.”

Admittedly, Wing’s concerns are quite intriguing particularly when you consider a future where millions of packages are delivered via drone. That said, some people question the company’s motives.

PetaPixel quotes a tweet from Ian Sherr, @iansherr, who said of Wing’s objections, “I am shocked — shocked — that a company being investigated for antitrust concerns over abusing its power on the internet would recommend the FAA ditch its newest radio-frequency ID program for internet-based tracking.”

If you missed our story about the new set of regulations governing drone flight in the United States, click here to read that story. For the story about the new rules in the European Union, you can find that story here.

What do you think of Google’s parent company’s concerns about user privacy with the new drone rules? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments below.

Be sure to check out our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[Reuters]

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