A Kentucky man has been arrested after shooting down a civilian drone circling his home. A Hillview man, as well as some neighbors, witnessed the drone flying over their properties and hovering in the sky. Shortly thereafter, the man grabbed his shotgun and waited until the drone reappeared over his property, at which point he discharged the firearm. It did not take long for the owners of the drone to search for the perpetrator and authorities were dispatched to the neighborhood.
Upon arrival, the Hillview man expressed his beliefs and concerns regarding the drone’s intrusion upon his privacy. The drone had been hovering over his property as well as his neighbor’s property for a noticeable period of time. The man was understandably worried the operators of the drone were capturing poolside pictures of his daughter, which would upset any father.
The use of drones, especially in residential areas has grown in popularity over recent years. While there are many benefits to the use of drones, the topic has been subject to controversy. The interference of a person’s right to privacy is at the forefront of this debate. Opponents of drones assert people’s rights to privacy are being invaded and the use of drones could lead to unscrupulous actions. Everyone is entitled to a certain amount of privacy and the purpose of this right is to restrain government as well as private parties from actions that threaten an individual’s privacy.
Proponents argue the benefits far outweigh the cons. Drones are able to perform jobs that ordinarily would require either excessive skill or a large financial commitment. Drones can reach areas otherwise inaccessible, take aerial photographs for surveyors, inspect bridges or crops for damage, and even help locate victims of natural disasters. While these examples certainly present strong reasons to argue in favor of drones, regulations must be established to control and monitor the private sector’s operation with this technology. It is essential for a balance to be in place to protect individual freedoms such as the right to privacy.
There is also concern that local law enforcement agencies will use drones to monitor otherwise law abiding citizens. This idea is in clear violation of what many Americans feel is their basic right to freedom and privacy. How much surveillance is too much and at what point are the benefits outweighed by the cons? Questions such as these have already been posed many times in recent years, including when police officers in Cincinnati started using personal cameras and again when other cities followed suit. With technological advances, such questions will undoubtedly continue to mold and shape opinions as well as future legislation when it comes to the use and operation of drones.
The attorneys at Bleile & Dawson have significant experience as Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers. To learn how our representation can be of benefit to you, contact us today for a completely confidential consultation at (513) 399-5945.