Executive Order on Drone Privacy Expected

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The Obama Administration informed various sources that President Obama plans to issue an executive order to develop privacy guidelines for using commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) - also referred to as drones. Specifically, the executive order would charge the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA"), a component of the Department of Commerce, with developing these guidelines.

In 2013, NTIA convened a multistakeholder process to develop privacy guidelines for mobile apps and is currently involved in a similar effort for facial recognition technology. Under the anticipated executive order, NTIA is expected to convene a privacy multistakeholder process to provide a forum for discussion and consensus-building among stakeholders to develop voluntary privacy guidelines for UAS operators.

The guidelines developed would supplement the FAA's proposed rule concerning the operation of small UAS, which is expected later this year. The FAA proposed rule for small UAS is expected to focus on UAS safety, UAS pilot training and UAS airworthiness.

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