Drones, Privacy, and the FAA

By Benjamin Wittes
Thursday, April 19, 2012, 10:43 PM

UCLA Professor John Villasenor and I have this oped coming out in tomorrow's Washington Post responding to calls for the Federal Aviation Administration to take action to protect privacy in the context in the context of regulating the domestic use of drones. It opens:

In February, President Obama signed into law a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that requires the agency — on a fairly rapid schedule — to write rules opening U.S. airspace to unmanned aerial vehicles. This puts the FAA at the center of a potentially dramatic set of policy changes that stand to usher in a long list of direct and indirect benefits. But the FAA is not a privacy agency. And although real privacy concerns have arisen about these aircraft, asking the agency to take on the role of privacy czar for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be a mistake.

The oped follows on this event, which took place at Brookings a couple of weeks ago:

And it deals with themes Ritika discussed with MIT professor Missy Cummings in Episode #5 of the Lawfare Podcast.