Markey Statement on New FAA Drone Registration Requirement

Senator has introduced legislation to ensure transparency and privacy for drone use

 

Washington (October 19, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will create a task force to develop recommendations for a registration process for drones. In March, Senator Markey introduced legislation that would require the FAA to create a publicly-available website that includes all approved drone licenses, all data collection and data minimization statements, any data security breaches suffered by a licensee, and the times and locations of drone flights.

 

“We require car registration to ensure safety and accountability, and we should do the same for drones. We have rules of the road, but in this Brave New World, now we need rules of the sky. Standards for informing the public and promoting accountability must be put in place now to protect safety and individual privacy as the drones are taking flight. Congress needs to pass legislation now that builds in transparency measures and privacy protections into the licensing process for drones used in U.S. airspace.”

 

In March, Senator Markey and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, legislation that would:

  • Prohibit the FAA from issuing drone licenses unless the license application includes a data collection statement that explains who will operate the drone, where the drone will be flown, what kind of data will be collected, how that data will be used, whether the information will be sold to third parties, and the period for which the information will be retained.
  • Require law enforcement agencies and their contractors and subcontractors to include an additional data minimization statement that explains how they will minimize the collection and retention of data unrelated to the investigation of a crime.
  • Require that any surveillance involving drones by law enforcement agencies will require a warrant or extreme exigent circumstances.
  • Require the FAA to create a publicly available website that lists all approved licenses and includes the data collection and data minimization statements, any data security breaches suffered by a licensee, and the times and locations of drone flights.

 

A coalition of national groups have endorsed the legislation: American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontiers Foundation, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

 

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