Homeland Security: Let’s be clear about aerial drone privacy

A privacy review, intended to “clarify any misunderstandings that exist” about the controversial unmanned aircraft, comes as concern grows about limited restraints on police use of drones.

The Draganflyer X4-P can carry still and video cameras or thermal imaging sensors.

(Credit: Dragan)

A Homeland Security office says it plans to review the privacy implications of using drones to monitor U.S. citizens.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has created a working group that will “clarify any misunderstandings that exist” about DHS’s drone program, as well as make an effort to “mitigate and address any outstanding” privacy concerns.

Tamara Kessler from DHS’s civil rights office and Jonathan Cantor, DHS acting chief privacy officer, sent the memo (PDF) describing the review to Secretary Janet Napolitano last September. It was released this week.

It isn’t clear how rigorous the review will be. The department’s privacy office lacks key investigative powers, and last fall it blessed the controversial practice of monitoring social mediaas perfectly acceptable. In 2006, however, it did slap down the Transportation Security Agency for “privacy missteps” when collecting details on millions of air travelers.

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About securityteknews
Ralph Thomas is author of over 32 books on various aspects of conducting investigations, founder and director of The National Association Of Investigative Specialists,CEO of Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc, The Spy Exchange And Security Center and SpyTek Wholesale Imports. Thomas is a member of the Executive Security Council of Griffith Colson Intelligence Service, a private intelligence agency. Thomas's latest project is NAIStv on the Griffith Media TV Network. He has also developed A Native American Store in Georgetown Texas called Tribal Impressions. You can review his person home page off of: http://www.pimall.com/thomas

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