Building Privacy Safeguards In The Drone Regulations: The Way Forward

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The use of drone technology by both private and public actors have raised significant privacy concerns for Indians. Unfortunately, the current statutory and regulatory framework proves inadequate to protect against the drone privacy intrusions.

Currently, the government agencies are utilizing the drones for multitude of purposes. To illuminate, Indian Railways and Indian Forest Department have used drones for monitoring the Seawoods-Nerul-Uran railway project and plantations, respectively. As a part of government’s development programmes, Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas (SVAMITVA) Scheme has been launched by the Government to map lands of the Indian rural residents to establish clear ownership of their properties using drone technology. In a similar instance, the Telangana Government has launched a programme named ‘Hara Bahara’, to plant 1 billion trees by 2030 using seed copter drones and tested drones to deliver Covid-19 vaccines in remote areas. The Government agencies like the Ministry of Defence, the Home Ministry and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) plans to leverage the ‘counter rouge drone technology’ and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare promotes the drone technologies for crop protection and for spraying soil and crop nutrients and using drones for variety of purposes such as surveillance.

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