Logik TV – Episode 33: Drone Privacy Laws
Flying drones for commercial purposes? Careful not to violate Canada’s privacy laws!
In this episode of Logik TV, Jamie Benizri sits down with aviation and drone consultant Sean Smith of Vozwin to discuss the risks commercial drone pilots face when flying and the privacy laws they must respect, answering questions like:
- What privacy laws do you need to know about?
- How can you be sure to remain compliant with privacy laws?
- What if you break the rules?
Play By PlayJamie: Hello, everyone, welcome back to another episode of Logik TV. I’m Jamie Benizri and I’m here with Sean Smith, our aviation specialist. And in this series, what we consider to be DroneLogik, is really about commercializing drones, where you can fly them, and how you can kind of conduct your business activities using a drone as your main vehicle. And a lot of people don’t know but the privacy laws and all those aspects of security, and privacy, and access to information really applies to the drone world too. So let’s look at someone who is kind of commercializing drones and what he has to be concerned about, about people’s privacy.
Sean: So whenever you’re operating a drone in Canada, you have to respect the privacy laws. Even if you have an SFOC that says you’re allowed to fly at that location, you’re really going to need to still make sure that you’re not invading anybody’s privacy whatsoever, because you can get the local police, or the local police force to really come over and give you a fine, or even take away your aircraft from you.
Jamie: So this is people who are spying or the paparazzi who are trying to locate a celebrity or someone of interest?
Sean: You may not be trying to do that. You may be doing it for home inspections but if someone’s taking a shower—for that same reason, Sweden recently put out a blanketed ban on cameras on drones because they were saying that they’re being used as surveillance, or they’re surveillance equipment, so across the board, they just said you have to have a special permit to be able to put a camera and use a camera on a drone.
Jamie: A lot of drones are equipped with a camera and certain technologies that allow for them to capture footage, so invariably you may, just like Google Earth, capture people in their home habitat, and they may not necessarily want that. What’s the best way to remain compliant with privacy laws, and really the rules surrounding drones?
Sean: Yeah, so if you’re going to be flying around someone’s domicile, and it’s cohabitated, so let’s say if it’s a rental property or it’s a condo, you want to make sure that you’ve got everybody’s acknowledgement that they know that you’re going to be flying from this time, from this time, or during this time of the week, depending upon the weather. But don’t just get it verbally as a confirmation—make sure you get it in writing, because people are forgetful, and this way, it’s part of your record keeping. You want to make sure that you cover yourself in every way, shape, or form. It’s really key that you get that in writing.
Sean: It’s the same thing that happens if you use a ladder and peer into somebody, or somebody thinks that you are peering into them. The police are going to be on you, they’re going to be giving you a fine, or at the very least, they may give you a criminal record.
Jamie: So this is part of the reason why during consultations, I’ll often advise people to reach out to someone with the expertise, which is why we’re kind of inviting our audience to like, comment, reach out to Sean. If you’re using a drone for commercial application because you really can guide them in certain ways and make sure they’re compliant with everything Canada requires of a dronepreneur. So thanks for being with us, and I hope you guys appreciated this series of DroneLogik and look out for more tips from Sean.