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Protecting privacy when flying drones

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Making sure that you don’t invade anyone’s privacy when you’re out flying. What you can and can't do with photos and videos.

Respect other people and their privacy

If your drone or model aircraft is fitted with a camera or listening device, you must respect other people’s privacy whenever you use them. If you use these devices where people can expect privacy, such as inside their home or garden, you’re likely to be breaking data protection laws.

It’s against the law to take photographs or record video or sound for criminal or terrorist purposes.Any photos or recordings you take may be covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Make sure you know what your camera can do and the kind of images it can take

Knowing this will help to reduce the risk of taking photos or recording videos that invade privacy.

Make sure you know:

  • what quality you can record

  • how close your camera can zoom in

  • if you can start and stop recording when you are flying

Make sure you can be clearly seen when you’re out flying

This means people will know who’s responsible for your drone or model aircraft.

Let people know before you start recording or taking pictures

In some cases, this will be easy. For example, if you’re taking a photo of family and friends at a family barbeque.In other cases, this will be less practical, so you must be careful to respect everyone’s right to privacy.Publish your Privacy Notice in Internet.

Think before sharing photos and videos

Avoid sharing anything that could be unfair or harmful to anyone.

Think carefully about who could see your photos and videos – especially before posting them on social media. Apply the same common-sense approach that you would with images or video recorded on a smartphone or digital camera.

Keep photos and videos secure

Store images safely. Delete anything you don’t need.

If you record images for commercial use, you’ll need to meet further specific requirements as a data controller.



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