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Sen. Markey and Rep. Welch Letter to the President on Drone Privacy

July 25, 2014

On July 24, 2014, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Peter Welch sent a letter to President Obama asking that the federal government put in place "strong, enforceable rules—not voluntary best practices—that protect the privacy rights of American citizens."  The letter notes the benefits of drone technology and that most drone users will serve as good actors and follow best practices, but the authors worry about the worst offenders who will act unrestricted.

The letter specifically asks that as the President considers executive action on drones, he include the following in any final plan: 1) Requirements that commercial drone operators disclose what data is collected, how that information is used, whether the data will be sold, and what information will be deleted; 2) Mandates that law enforcement obtain a warrant before using drones, except in emergency circumstances; and 3) The creation of a publicly-available website that lists where and when drones fly.