The US government has made some new changes to Drone laws this last week, that we have never seen. These new drone laws include that every drone in US airspace should transfer the information of the drone and its pilot to the US government. Google’s wing warns that these newly changed drone laws may raise privacy concerns.
These drone laws have changed to ensure address safety, national safety, and law enforcement concerns for the further process of integrating these drones into the airspace of United Space.
FAA initially decided to go with Internet-based remote-Id tracking back in December 2019, Later, it was changed after receiving plenty of reasons from Commenters why it might be problematic. Then the FAA decided to abandon it.
Google’s wing opinion:
Google’s wing isn’t too happy about these new changes in Drone Laws. According to its post,
Remote identification is a crucial technology that can provide drone identity and location details to ensure safe operations for government, law enforcement, and fellow operators. By this, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can provide safety, privacy to support the widespread use of drones in the United States.
Unfortunately, With the new changes in the Drone laws do not allow the use of equally effective network remote ID. It requires all UAS irrespective of the use case to use “broadcast” RID. Thus it may create some barriers to compliance and unintended consequences for American consumers.
Using the “broadcast” RID results, Normally drones fly between businesses and homes. So, there is a chance of an observer accessing sensitive information about specific users. It includes where customers receive packages from and when, where they visit, and where they live, etc.
However, American communities won’t accept this type of surveillance of their deliveries and sensitive information to be available on the road. and They should not accept it in the sky. This is quite contrary to the FAA’s decision to Broadcast remote identification.
Security and other concerns of initial proposal Internet-based tracking:
The FAA’s proposal requires virtually all drones to register for “remote ID service”. Managed by some private suppliers anticipated to charge mandatory subscription fees. Not only that, these companies will store at least six months of data on drone flight records. It requires extra financial and compliance burdens for the drone industries.
Thousands of drones currently on the market which does not have any means for internet connection would be grounded. Manufacturers face a significant increase in the cost of new products and equipment. Even though the benefits of this tracking is for police and other authorities but not to drone users.
Drone operators with limited cell phone service coverage may need to choose separate data plans. Even casual drone users also have to maintain and renew subscription fees for flying it in their territories. And also connecting all the drones to the internet may create new cybersecurity problems.
Remote-based identification of drones, which the FAA considers a plan for holding manufacturers accountable in case things go wrong with the drones.
Google’s Wing about Internet-based tracking
Google’s Wing about using Internet-based tracking as a part of Drone Laws.Wing says it’s more like a license plate for the skies. This allows a drone to be recognized as it flies over. Without revealing it’s sensitive information like the drone’s complete flight path or flight history. Sensitive information can be available for authorities and law enforcement if they have the necessary credentials and reason to need that information.
But the problem with the license plate is traditionally you have with the eyeshot to see them. That issue can be solved by using the broadcasting transmitter. Naturally, the privacy of your data depends on from whom you take the subscription to and how much you trust, and how secure their services are.
After receiving these thousands of feedbacks FAA said it doesn’t require manufacturers to include Remote ID accessible via internet-based services. Instead, they are going to use a radio transmitter for transmitting their Remote ID.
New Drone Laws include Broadcast Remote ID
The initial internet-based remote ID comes with a high cost and complex. So, the FAA decided to go with Broadcast Remote ID. Which is effective, automatic, and requires no service provider.
This technology uses the existing WiFi and Bluetooth antennas installed in most drones to become Remote ID transmitters once modified by a software update. Those signals can be received by the app. thus making room ID totally free for the authorities who need it.
However, the FAA may change rules depending on the user’s and recreational flyers’ feedback.
As per The FAA’s new Drone Law, every drone in US airspace needs to broadcast their location as well as their pilot’s location. But, it doesn’t finalize what kind of broadcast technology drones will be required to use. Presently we can say that Broadcast Remote ID is just a first step. In the future, it may alter.