Lawmaker will re-introduce legislation to promote transparency, privacy for commercial and government drone use


Washington (February 15, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the followed statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and White House today released proposed rules for the use of drones in U.S. airspace. In July 2014, Senator Markey and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) called on the Obama administration to put in place strong, enforceable rules, not simply voluntary practices, to protect the privacy rights of Americans as it develops guidelines for the use of unmanned aircraft systems. In the last Congress, Senator Markey introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, legislation that would to require transparency in the use of domestic drones and privacy protections for Americans.


“With the potential for creating jobs and saving lives that comes with the widespread use of drones also comes the possible peril of spying and loss of privacy. While this proposal is a step towards ensuring Americans’ safety and security are protected as drones take to the skies, it stops short of ensuring that the strongest safeguards are in place to protect privacy and promote transparency. The FAA order merely directs NTIA to come up with a voluntary framework for privacy for commercial drone use.  We need strong, enforceable rules for both commercial and government activities that require transparency about the collection, use, and retention of data collected by drones before they take flight. I plan to reintroduce legislation in the coming weeks to ensure that this technology that could hold great benefit cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans.”