Liberty Victoria and the unmanned systems industry are seeking answers to such questions as: is it legal for a neighbour to fly a drone over your backyard? Can you stop someone filming you from above at the beach?
To mark the Privacy Awareness Week 2015, Liberty Victoria and the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) have detailed plans for reform in order to resolve these questions and tackle growing concern about the right to privacy at a time of increased private drone use.
In a paper called The Use of Drones in Australia: An Agenda for Reform, we call on state and territory governments to introduce laws that balance the beneficial uses of drone technology with the need to protect Australians against harmful surveillance.
As stated by Liberty Victoria Senior Vice President Jessie Taylor: “The regulatory landscape in Australia is piecemeal and ill-equipped to deal with emerging surveillance technologies such as drones. The law is struggling to catch up with these developments.”
Update: March 2017
Senate Inquiry: Regulatory requirements that impact on the safe use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Unmanned Aerial Systems and associated systems
On 13 October 2016, the Senate moved that this matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 April 2017. An interim report has been tabled.
Liberty's report was accepted as an additional document for purposes of the Inquiry: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Rural_and_Regional_Affairs_and_Transport/Drones/Additional_Documents