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Alphabet’s Wing Aviation Warns Proposed Drone ID Rules Invite Privacy Issues

2021-01-04 06:00:31

Wing, Alphabet Inc.'s drone delivery unit, criticized Trump's administrative rules issued this week that mandate broadcast-based remote identification of drones, saying they need to be revised to enable Internet-based tracking .

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued rules that allow small drones to fly over people and at night in the United States and mandate remote identification technology for nearly all drones.

The rules remove the requirement that drones, formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, must be connected to the Internet to transmit location data, but require them to remotely broadcast ID messages via radio frequency broadcasts.

"This approach creates barriers to compliance and will have unintended negative consequences for the privacy of businesses and consumers," Wing said in a blog post Thursday, adding "an observer tracking a drone could infer sensitive information about specific users, including where they were. visiting, spending time., and living and where customers receive packages and when. "

Wing added that “American communities would not accept this kind of surveillance of their deliveries or taxi rides on the road. They shouldn't accept it in the air. "

Wing called on the FAA to expand how operators can meet ID requirements.

The FAA said on Thursday that it has "received and addressed more than 50,000 public comments on the proposed remote identification rule that will promote the safe integration of drones into the national airspace system."

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International said Remote ID will function as “a digital license plate for drones”.

Drone manufacturers have 18 months to start producing Remote ID drones, and operators have an additional year to provide Remote ID.

Wing states that internet-based tracking “ makes it possible to identify a drone as it flies overhead without necessarily sharing that drone's full flight path or flight history. & # 39; & # 39;

The Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. said this week that it "has long supported the FAA's Remote ID initiative because it will improve the responsibility, safety and security of the drones … We are reviewing the last line to understand how DJI can take steps to meet the upcoming requirements. "

(Reporting by David Shepardson; edited by David Gregorio)

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