Re: Fe Fi Fo FUD, I smell the snake oil
I should also point out that my government absolutely has been thinking about this, and does give fucks about privacy.
Where UAVs are used for commercial aims, their use would be covered by the Personal Information Protection Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and subject to the same requirements as with any other data collection practice. It is a common misconception that a company does not require permission to take an individual’s photograph in a public place.87 The privacy protections in PIPEDA are there to ensure that people know when their image is being captured for commercial reasons – whether by photograph or video - and what it will be used for. PIPEDA requires consent as a general rule, subject to only limited and specific exceptions. Collection and use of personal information can only be for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances and there should be a consideration for employing a less privacy-invasive means of obtaining the information.
If cameras on drones are governed by the same rules as surveillance cameras under PIPEDA, then flying your drone over my property in order to surveil me in my own yard absolutely is an invasion of my privacy. Just as I would be well within my rights to remove a surveillance camera discovered on my property (and surrender it to the legal authorities of my jurisdiction, should I be asked to return it), so to would I be within my rights to remove a flying camera that was surveilling me on my own property.
Now, you want to sit outside my property and point a camera at me? Then I am entirely within my rights to whip out some triangulation gear, track down who is controlling that drone and sue you for invasion of privacy. And I will win. Just like you cannot place a surveillance camera on your own building and point it at my back yard or bedroom, you cannot hover a drone just outside the property line and surveil me.
Your drone just flying by and accidentally waves onto my property as it's doing wide area shots or taking pictures of crowds? That's not an invasion of privacy and I likely have no legal recourse to seize the drone, though I do have a potential case for trespassing, if I can track down who is flying it.
Also of note: you can't go taking pictures of those crowds unless you post notice that you are going to. That's part of privacy law here. Even if you have a surveillance camera on your own property, you need to post notices.
Thus, if you have a drone looking at me for any reason, in any place and have not posted adequate notice such that I may find out who it is that is operating that drone, you are in violation of the law. At least if you use the drone for anything even remotely commercial. Recreational use is a lot more iffy...but I'd be entirely pleased to be the first bloke to take that one to the Supreme court.
Short version: you don't get to point a camera at me, even in a public place, unless you post a warning about it. You don't get to point a camera onto my property without asking, and if you place a camera on my property you're violating criminal - not just civil - law, and I have the right to remove (but not destroy) the camera, and to only surrender it to the authorities.
So no, I don't get to shoot your drone down. But cross my property line with it, I do get to net the damned thing and only give it back when the cops are at your side. At which point you will have told me who you are, and I will press charges.
--A citizen with a reasonable expectation of privacy in his own home and behind his own fence.