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Drone: A Threat To Privacy

This article explores the increasing utilization of drone technology by Indian law enforcement entities, charting its progression from handling civil unrest and electoral activities to surveilling public gatherings and enforcing pandemic-related measures. It underscores drones' dual role, portraying them as essential tools for data gathering and surveillance while also raising concerns regarding privacy violations. Highlighting the constitutional right to privacy, the discussion traverses through pertinent Indian legislations, notably the Aircraft Rules Act of 1937 and the UAS Rules of 2021, which impose rigorous data protection standards on drone operators. It analyzes the ramifications of integrating facial recognition technology into drones, underscoring the intricate balance between security enforcement and privacy safeguarding. Additionally, it examines localized regulations like those implemented in Dehradun, showcasing a nuanced approach to drone usage across different zones. Concluding with a forward-thinking stance, the abstract advocates for proactive regulatory measures and governmental supervision to mitigate privacy risks while leveraging drone technology's benefits for public welfare. Introduction: The usage of drone technology by Indian law enforcement organizations has grown steadily. The Delhi Police has acknowledged using drones purchased from open markets during the February 2020 deadly riots in the city and the Delhi Assembly elections. Additionally, during the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, drones were employed to monitor potential demonstrations, and more recently, the Indian Railways used them to maintain security at railway facilities. These instances are consistent with an expanding global trend that sees drones used for law enforcement, including in the USA, Australia, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. COVID-19 pandemic became the peak phase for the usage of drones in India. Drones was considered as a best source of help to the authorities during covid. Surveillance and collection of data became the main application of drone but when this technology became the threat to the citizens privacy raises a big concern. Right to privacy has been a part of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which safeguards the people as well as their information. Indian laws and provisions related to drones were mentioned in the Aircraft Rules Act 1937 and later in UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) Rules 2021. Additional data protection and privacy measures are one of most important measures prescribed by the UAS Rules, which includes: Drone Operation Requirements When operating a drone, there are certain requirements that must be followed: A requirement that the drone operator protect people's privacy and their property while operating a drone - this rule safeguards people's privacy as well as their property. "There are various rights enshrined in the Constitution of India for its people for the enjoyment of their property. But the main question arises here is that what if the property is damaged? Or what if the person is injured? Insurance is the key ingredient which comes into the picture. Insurance related to third party damages should be focused rather than punishing the trespasser under IPC". A requirement that the drone operator protect data using "suitable" procedures and "appropriate" applications. A prohibition on sharing data collected by a drone with third parties without the subjects' express consent - there are various situations when the use of drones is necessary even in the areas of privacy. 2021 rules clearly prohibited the transfer of data to third party who is neither any authority in charge nor authorized separately. Although this not the complete medicine for the people but to some extent it safeguards the privacy. Facial recognition technology (FRT ) a boon as well as a bane- The implementation of facial recognition technology (FRT) for law enforcement in several Indian states is another illustration of how widely surveillance technology is used. Due to the current use of drones with high-resolution cameras and SD cards, it made easy for the collection and compilation of personal data but it also affected the personal data's transparency. Cameras attached to drones captures the image of an individual. Because of its high resolution it captures the identity of an individual and therefore risking his privacy. Tracking location without the persons consent also violated its privacy and drones flying above a certain area automatically detects the location of the person. In 2020 Dehradun Government restricted the use of drones on the basis of areas. In the red zone, the use of drones of any sort is not permitted, while in the yellow zone, the DGCA may issue permission, which the state police will then confirm. The state police will permit drone operation in the "green zone" after conducting a background investigation. Green Zones are open public zones although it does not mean that there are no houses and people of these houses does not enjoy the right to privacy. A background investigation must include public opinion either through survey or through polling because in the end it is the public's choice to give their own enjoyment. Thinking about the advancement of present and future, technological developments play an important role and these technologies comes with implications and benefits. Due to the presence of implications advancement cannot be stopped but can only be regulated by provisions and laws. Drones being a concern related to data protection and privacy can only be regulated by strict laws and these laws must be made to safeguard the interest of public at large. Therefore policing, restricting privatization and appointment of government agencies for the control of drone can only ease the problem.

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