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Indoor surveillance drones on their way to a company near you?




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Advantages this technology has over traditional security operations

One of the main upsides to patrolling security drones is they are cheaper than tradtional human guards. Once a company has made the initial outlay for the drone, the technology can operate almost constantly. The rapid recharging functionality of this technology is the real gamechanger. CCTV cameras could be used in concert with the drone patrols, creating fewer blindspots for companies. One can imagine many applications for these UAVs and they are likely to be particularly useful for logistic or warehousing companies, airports or military facilities.

Should we be worried about the creep of this technology into mainstream usage?

I’d imagine most of us would agree we don’t want drones patrolling our streets in lieu of police officers. While there is no immediate plans for this to happen, as the technology rapidly develops and surveillance technology gets cheaper, it becomes easier to make an efficiency argument for placing these drones in public space.

A 2016 report from the Police Foundation titled: Community Policing & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Guidelines to Enhance Community Trust highlighted how drones have “significant potential to improve operational efficiency as well as officer and community safety.” The report also identified that the public had  “understandable and legitimate concerns about privacy risks”, particularly because there is no unifying nationwide policy on drones. We’ve brought you many stories relating to drone surveillance and ways this technology could be abused by those in power, particularly in authoritarian regimes. One recent example we gave you was was how more than 30 agencies in China had been using dove-live surveillance drones to spy on the Chinese population. While drone surveillance technology has many practical applications, before its widespread rollout we hope to see strong nationwide legislation enshrining people’s privacy rights.

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