We don't NEED NO STEENKIN' DRONE RULES, peers told

Red tape not needed for privacy, says DfT minister

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No further regulation is needed to address privacy concerns around the use of commercial drones, a House of Lords sub-committee was told.

Baroness Kramer, the minister of state for the Department for Transport, said yesterday: "We do not believe that any additional regulatory changes are needed to ensure adequate privacy and data protection."

Peter Lee, expert in the legal regulation of drones at law firm Taylor Vintners, told peers there was no need for "knee jerk" laws, in a separate House of Lords debate on Monday.

"It is the job of lawyers, regulators and judges to to interpret [existing laws] in the light of a new technology," he said.

However, he warned that to ignore the privacy concerns associated with increasing use of drones carrying mounted cameras - particularly by police, journalists and "hobbyists" creating user-generated content - would be "folly".

Operators in the UK undertaking commercial aerial work using drones currently need the permission of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA keeps a record of permissions given to those operators.

David Goldberg, legal academic, told the House of Lords that the growth of the commercial drone industry in the US has been hampered by the failure of the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, to provide clear guidance.

"The CAA in this country has been far more progressive," he said. ®


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