Your Drone Registration With the FAA Will Be Publicly Available

Your Drone Registration With the FAA Will Be Publicly Available

The countdown to mandatory drone registration with the Federal Aviation Administration has begun here in the United States. But there is one major privacy issue that has recently come to light. Personal information from drone owners, including names and addresses, will eventually be publicly available, according to a report from Forbes.

This particular issue arose because of two different statements by both the FAA and the Department of Transportation when it comes to who will actually have access to registration data. The FAA says they and a third-party contractor will be the only ones who have access to personal data while, the DOT is stating that all data collected that pertains to registered aircraft, which now includes drones, is made publicly available. The FAA told Forbes the following:

Until the drone registry system is modified, the FAA will not release names and address. When the drone registry system is modified to permit public searches of registration numbers, names and addresses will be revealed through those searches.

According to Forbes, the DOT’s filing contained the following statement: “all records maintained by the FAA in connection with aircraft registered are included in the Aircraft Registry and made available to the public, except email address and credit card information submitted under Part 48 (the new model aircraft registry).”

The fear is that once you register your drone, anyone could look up the registration number and find out who you are and where you live. In some cases, this is harmless, but with the recent controversy of drone use seen in the likes of anti-drone weaponry, some worry people will take things into their own hands, rather than leaving it to the authorities. 

Personally, I agree that drone registration is needed when we have the likes of people using them for bad or crashing them while firefighters are trying to fight wildfires. However, public registration goes too far and feels like something required of a sex offender and not something needed for a recreational toy. To put it in perspective, the United States doesn't even have a national gun registry, let alone a public one.
 
What do you think about drone registration? Do you think a searchable public database is a good idea?
 
[via Forbes]
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23 Comments

New flash, anyone can do this with private planes...

True, but this is a response to the viral popularity of the toys/tools that are cheap and easy to fly. R/C planes have already been used for weapons delivery in this country. Yet this did not trigger a response from anyone.

Volume.

if 0.1% of 300000 are moronic operator you have a bigger issue than 100 RC planes dropping heroin bags in jail court yards...

Agreed, but my response was noting the knee-jerk reaction to the issue du jour that drives so much policy.

That's human nature. We don't respond that well to gradual influence but we react strongly when something makes alot of noise...

I don't see why the gun comment was necessary.

Keith Bradshaw's picture

Really? You have to register a drone but not an AK-47? Who doesn't see the irony in this?

Since that's not true, it's not terribly ironic.

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

There are different interpretation of the 2nd amendment, but most common is that the people should be able to defend themselves from oppressive government. If there would be a registration of who owns what weapon, the government would be able to target these individuals and disarm them before people would become alarmed.
Public records of the registrations would also put gun owners in danger of being targeted by criminals who would want to simply steal those weapons. Criminals could also research who is not armed and target those, knowing that they are defenseless. Now at least criminals are taking a risk of getting shot if they enter gun-owner's home.
Although "assault" rifles are banned by federal government, registration of firearms is regulated state-by-state.
Now, registering a drone is more like registering a car. If the drone will fly over an airport and will get struck by airplane, the owner of that drone will be easy to locate and fine for braking FAA laws and endangering operators and passengers of other aircrafts... Knowing possible consequences, there will be less irresponsible and reckless drone owners trying to get that shot over an airport.
I am against releasing these registrations in public record though.

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

Plain stupid. These toys costs $$$ so drone owner probably has some interesting stuff at home. Public record will make owners potential targets for thieves. I still don't get this whole idea with public record in US.

Public records don't have your home adress in them... Come on! -_-

Any planes is subject to this. Check this out: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Inquiry.aspx

If you have a plane's tail number, you can find the owner. But you can't browse the registry for celebrity toys by name...

But if you google "Angelina Jolie plane" you get the tail number (N805MX) and then you can find it in the records. http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=N805MX

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

...so you can find registered owner address.
From the links you've provided registered owner is CHIVAN PRODUCTIONS INC
So you can go here: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/name_inquiry.aspx
enter owners name and you got the address...

By that logic, never park your Mercedes outside. Also, don't live in a nice neighborhood.

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

"Nice neighborhoods" pay nice taxes so they have police patrolling it regularly... Criminals are always looking for easiest targets.
And yes. If you live in not very good neighborhood and you will be parking new Mercedes on your driveway you are just disconnected with how the world operates. I personally know two people who made that mistake. One of whom actually saw crooks taking off with packed van of his belongings.

Just glad I don't live in your country.

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

I don't know where do you live but I am talking about Florida.

Sounds like the shittiest part of Florida.

But no one is going to look up drone registrations so they can go rob people.

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

If you say so... btw you don't know much about Florida, do you? Your responses sound very troll-like...

I thought this was trolling:

"Plain stupid. These toys costs $$$ so drone owner probably has some interesting stuff at home. Public record will make owners potential targets for thieves. I still don't get this whole idea with public record in US."

Do you honestly think that thieves are going to try to figure out how to access public records of drone owners, so they can rob them? That's ridiculous!

You make these stupid comments, then dig yourself a bigger hole, but want to call other people trolls?

Seth Taylor's picture

The registration site doesn't seem to be working, I tried earlier but there doesn't seem to be a link to get it started. Anybody else had success?

Keith Davis's picture

Yes it is up and running

The 'geo-fencing' that dji have added is the way forward. Not just lateral restrictions, but more importantly, the altitude needs to be limited.
That plus, a register, will eliminate the majority of the problems.