CDD Tells NTIA to Bow Out of Drone Privacy

The Center for Digital Democracy says the National Telecommunications & Information Administration should not be overseeing a voluntary drone privacy framework.

That came in comments to the NTIA in its capacity of overseeing a voluntary drone privacy standards process, which it was directed to do by the President in an executive order.

NTIA has teamed with the Federal Trade Commission on a number of stakeholder/government efforts to come up with voluntary enforcement of the Obama administration's privacy Bill of Rights in the absence of legislation enforcing them, but CDD has been a critic of those past efforts, and the latest one is no exception.

In its filing, CDD said NTIA has failed to establish a successful track record in its efforts to create mobile app transparency and its facial recognition efforts have "failed to accomplish anything significant."

CDD also says that NTIA has a "major conflict of interest" on privacy and can't represent the public's interest because it and parent Commerce Department have the primary function of promoting U.S. business interests.

CDD suggests that the FTC instead take the lead, where "its expertise can help develop a meaningful set of privacy safeguards and proposed rules," CDD said.

Comments were due Monday (April 20) on the drone privacy framework.

“As directed by the President, NTIA will convene stakeholders to develop best practices for privacy, transparency, and accountability regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)," said an NTIA spokesperson. "Leading representatives from industry, civil society, and others support the NTIA process.  We look forward to working with all serious stakeholders to make progress on these important issues.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.