Drone Defense

WASHINGTON — TV and movie makers have given the federal government three reasons why they don’t need to be subject to any new privacy safeguards regarding the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as “drones.”

The President issued an executive order on drone privacy earlier this year, including asking the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration to convene stakeholders to come up with voluntary privacy guidelines for drone use.

But the Motion Picture Association of America contends that I does not need any additional standards applied to their use in filming since drones involved in filming are used on closed sets and don’t come into contact with or collect, retain or use data from the general public.

The Federal Aviation Administration, when it authorized studios to use drones, already established weight limits, flight restrictions, line-of-site requirements, and prohibitions on operating them from moving vehicles, which already puts constraints on how they can operate.

MPAA says it already provides disclosure to everyone on set and obtains their consent before production begins. As to any stealth use of the drones: MPAA points out that they make a lot of noise so everybody on set has notice of when they are in use.

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.