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FAA Drone Program Draws Lawmakers' Concerns

SURVEILLANCE—U.S.

April 23, 2012

Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) have sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) questioning how the agency will address citizens' privacy rights as it begins to issue drone-use licenses to public and private entities, COMPUTERWORLD reports. "The surveillance power of drones is amplified when the information from onboard sensors is used in conjunction with facial recognition, behavior analysis, license plate recognition" among others, the lawmakers wrote, adding, the FAA has "the responsibility to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and that the public is fully informed about who is using drones in public airspace and why." The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently released documents revealing dozens of universities and law enforcement agencies that have received FAA approval for drone use.
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