The United States and many other countries are considering a plan to use drones to track and identify criminals.
The proposal, a joint initiative between the United States Air Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has raised concerns about civil liberties and privacy rights.
It would require all drones to be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and require all users to report to the FAA whenever they fly the aircraft.
It also would require any drones to have “a minimum of 10-foot wingspan” and “a maximum of two propellers.”
However, it is unclear how many drones the U,S.
could expect to use to track criminals.
A recent study by the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that drones are already being used for surveillance and “an important component of law enforcement.”
But the FAA and the Department of Homeland Security have not yet made a decision on whether drones should be used for law enforcement, and how many of them are being deployed is unclear.
“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty about how widespread it is and how much there is a need for drones,” said Matthew Prince, a senior technologist at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a non-profit group that advocates for online privacy and privacy protections.
Prince said that while drones might be useful for law-enforcement purposes, it’s not clear if they would be used in the way that the FAA is looking for.
“The FAA needs to make an informed decision and it needs to know if it is deploying them in the right way,” Prince said.
There are a number of concerns that drones will be used to spy on people and conduct surveillance without a warrant, such as remotely-piloted surveillance aircraft (RPWS).
The FAA is considering the potential for drones to use such surveillance to collect sensitive data, including photos of people.
A 2009 study by EPIC and the University of Texas at Austin found that RPWS could be used without a court order to conduct surveillance on the public.
But Prince said that drones could also be used as a means of law-breaking.
Drones can be equipped with microphones, cameras, and other sensors to track people and vehicles, but the technology isn’t ready for mass use.
“The problem is that these systems can be used, not only for surveillance purposes, but also for crime scene identification and law enforcement purposes,” Prince explained.
Policymakers have been concerned about drones, and a report from the U.,S.
Department of Defense found that the number of drone crashes and injuries has doubled since 2008.
The U.N. is also concerned about how drones could be deployed in law enforcement.
“If you’re going to have a drone hovering over your house, you want to be able to identify what’s going on inside your house,” Prince told Al Jazeera.
“You want to know what’s happening.”