Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cirque du Soleil turns drones into magic

Canadian theatrical company Cirque du Soleil has teamed up with Swiss research institute ETH Zurich and spin-off film production company Verity Studios AG to show how small flying helicopter drones could be used as performance art. Entitled Sparked: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters, the 10-minute video features 10 quadcopter […]

UAV innovation award

Surf Lifesaving UAV wins innovation award Two students from University of Wollongong have won an innovation award for using a quadcopter UAV to quickly deliver a floatation device to a distressed swimmer. The UAV, designed by Nicolas Roach and Leo Stevens, uses magnets to carry a floatation device out to […]

DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus Quadcopter – Reviews 1

DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus – Review Flying high made easy? UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are becoming more and more popular nowadays and quadcopter drones are at the forefront of this movement. They offer many benefits to both hobbyists and photographers alike. However, with all the new models becoming available […]

Construction Progress on Apple’s New Campus

Video shot by a drone gives a bird’s-eye view of the construction progress on Apple’s new Campus 2 in Cupertino, California. The futuristic-looking campus, which some say resembles a “spaceship,” is being built on a 175-acre site about one mile east of the company’s current headquarters. YouTube user jmcminn uploaded […]

I think as a society, in all our space, whether it’s airspace or cyberspace, we’re having a discussion as a society about our privacy rights

— Lawyer Ryan Berger
privacy rights

So where does all this leave you and me and our right not to be spied on by eyes in the sky?

“Right now there’s not a whole lot that an individual can do to prevent this from happening,” said Berger.

“There’s still a big question in the law as to where do our privacy rights begin and end and what are our privacy rights in a public place, and what are public places?”

Right now, a drone flying past your window is little different from someone looking in while walking by on the sidewalk. That applies even if your window is on the 37th floor. Even if a drone is recording – as long as you’re not naked – “if it’s for your [the operator’s] own personal use, the laws as we have them in Canada, the privacy laws anyway, wouldn’t apply.”

So far there’s no case law around this simply because there haven’t been any high-stakes lawsuits, said Berger. But the issue of private surveillance, whether it’s drones or hidden cameras, is being debated in the legal community.

“I think as a society, in all our space, whether it’s airspace or cyberspace, we’re having a discussion as a society about our privacy rights,” he said.

Berger said when he heard about Galway’s encounter, he “expected some people to call for legislation and regulation so that people can’t do this anymore.

“I think that will be the initial reaction. If that’s what happens, then it will only be left to the state to be able to do it, and you will have Big Brother 1984-style. I think some people may argue there should be some ability for the public to still have some ability to play in that field.”