Privacy by Design: An Assessment of Law Enforcement Drones
Ambrose, Meg L
The manner in which values such as privacy are impacted by drones in the hands of law enforcement agencies is concerning. As the domestic use of drones for law enforcement activities is increasing, it is important to address the privacy concerns that will inevitably arise before drones penetrate the airspace. This thesis will take an analytical, retrospective approach to the application of Privacy by Design to drones used by law enforcement. I draw on prior research in the field of Values in Design in order to identify how biases and values may be embedded in design in order to make assertions regarding the values apparent in drones. My method consisted of a case study, technical investigation, and discussion applying PbD principles to each drone. The case studies discussed at least one instance of that drone model's use and provided context for the technical investigations, which focused on four aspects of the technology: (1) size, (2) data collection sensors, (3) autonomous capabilities, and (4) altitudinal and geographic restrictions. In the technical investigations, my analyses showed that all three UAS designs do not currently meet the standards the Privacy by Design principles, drawing on the information from my technical analyses to make these conclusions. Based on my analysis in this thesis, I propose the idea of a warrant verification system integrated into drone design to better preserve privacy without dramatically inhibiting performance.
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