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Popular ‘toys’ pose serious privacy concerns

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Popular ‘toys’ pose serious privacy concerns

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Aina Katsikas, Reporter

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“To my neighbors that don’t feel the need to wear clothes outside, this is your warning. My brother got a drone. He is 12. SAVE OUR EYES,” tweeted Jodi Samples on Christmas day.

Drones were a favorite present for the 2014 holiday season, and their popularity has brought additional concerns for privacy and safety.

Drones threaten to invade people’s privacy at all levels and deserve more attention by legislators. Anyone can buy a drone for as little as $49.99. Drones are no longer just for science, professional photographers or government agencies. Everyone can own a drone.

Because drones can fly at tree height, capture pictures and videos of people’s back yards and have few regulations, the available devices jeopardize everyone’s privacy.

Information through photos and videos have great potential to ruin someone’s identity within the community or make a greater impact through the Internet.

National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden released thousands of documents, revealing Americans and governmental private information for the purpose of raising awareness about government interference. Snowden had access to an extensive range of such information.

Imagine what  drones can do with their greater visual power. They can easily humiliate,  embarrass or even ruin one’s life.

Drones are cheap. Radioshack sells surveyor drones for as low as $50. The average teenager can afford to get one. Although these cheap models aren’t capable of reaching lofty heights yet, as  technology progresses, cheap drones will soon be able to fly at elevated heights. Most people don’t look up into the sky above their back yard to see if anyone is watching them. The danger is that drones will be everywhere and the average person won’t know that spying is occurring.

Proponents of drones may argue that the unconventional devices don’t pose that great a risk. However, the risks are imminent because within a few years, the technology will be more advanced and available to the average person. By that time, it will be an unmanageable epidemic if legislation is not put into place now while it is still manageable. It is better to address an issue while it is possible to do so.

Almost two dozen states have enacted laws regulating drone use by government agencies. Some have also addressed private drone use, placing restrictions on locations where they can be used. However, the FAA needs to take action in addressing the use of private drones for the everyday person because the use of unregulated drones invades our privacy with unknown consequences or threats.

Aina Katsikas, Editor, Reporter

Aina Katsikas is a senior and second-year member of the Ka Leo staff. She is an 11-year veteran of the Academy and is currently Student Body president....

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Popular ‘toys’ pose serious privacy concerns