Drones and the Law


Many Americans have taken to purchasing drones. They’re portable and can help capture footage of events and scenery. But, you have to be careful that while you’re enjoying your new drone, you aren’t violating the rights of anyone else. When flying a drone and recording video or taking pictures, especially in residential areas, the chances of capturing someone who does not want to be in your pictures or video is high.

Intrusion upon Seclusion: Intrusion upon seclusion law is the most likely one you may have to contend with. If you’re flying your drone into or over neighbors’ homes with views into the backyards or houses, you can be violating their right to privacy. Intrusion upon seclusion requires that you knowingly (you’re controlling the drone) observing a person in private space. If you cannot see what you’re viewing with the drone from the street or eye level, you’re intruding upon their seclusion, and they can sue you for damages.

Publication of Private Facts: This law is going to apply only if you publish the images or videos you take of someone in a private space. The images or video have to be of private facts, offensive and they cannot be of public interest. This means images of the mayor having an affair in a hotel room may be fair game to publish (public interest) but not images of your neighbor doing yoga in the nude in her bedroom. Only the person who publishes the content is liable under publication of public facts law.

You should also look into the specifics in your state. Many states have begun passing drone specific laws about accepted usage to protect the rights of citizens from unlawful invasions of their privacy. Make sure you’re keeping in mind the rights of others around you while enjoying your drone!

For high flying advice on your insurance needs call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

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