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.