The burgeoning use of drones - by hobbyists and commercial users - has opened up a plethora of dilemmas. New legislation that addresses ethical, public safety, and privacy issues is urgently needed. New Drone controls are a trending online topic - and a favorite discussion point with DilemmaMatch users! Our app is a great way to start debates on topical issues – and far more besides. Take a look at some of the most popular drone-related dilemmas raised in the DilemmaMatch community…
Drone controls, and the changing face of technology
Drones were originally developed for surveillance purposes. In the Cold War period, more than 50 years ago, spy planes were regarded as the norm. In this climate of distrust and uncertainty, the military drone was born. But the problem of drone controls is a modern one. Their widespread availability and affordability has made them popular for commercial purposes. And they’ve become the must-have gadget of hobbyists. Drones of all shapes and sizes have become a familiar sight on the street, and on our television screens.
This increase in popularity has gone hand-in-hand with improved performance. Flying time has always been the biggest challenge. Not just because of the skill required by the ‘pilot’ (!), but because of limitations posed by battery life. Two years ago, the maximum flying time was just 10 minutes. That figure has now increased to 3 hours!
The ethical dilemma
It’s not only drone technology that’s changed. Attitudes toward them have shifted as well. Their military potential was initially seen in a positive light. An ideal delivery mechanism for targeted killings and for destroying specific targets. Low cost, low risk. Civilian casualties would be a thing of the past. Investigative journalism has since taught us otherwise. Filmmakers have questioned these ethical choices in powerful dramas such as ”Eye in the Sky". But drones may pose a more immediate threat to the wider population. Their development for use as an aerial weapon could change modern warfare, but what if they’re used by terrorists? How can you protect public figures, and places?
The safety dilemma
Drones don’t yet define society’s landscape, but this is changing. They're becoming part of everyday life, and drone controls need to reflect this. As well as familiar uses in surveillance, news broadcasts, photography, filmmaking or sport events, new commercial applications are being found. Delivering goods for instance. Compared to military usage, this may all seem harmless and benign, but what if things go wrong? Skier Marcel Hirscher is just one of many who’s experienced a frightening near miss with a crashing drone. And with so many drones in the sky, what are the risks when they enter areas with heavy air traffic, such as close to airports. Are lives at risk?
The privacy dilemma
And with large numbers of people now using drones, invasion of privacy is a big concern. Everything is recorded digitally – often without people’s permission. A filming drone doesn’t distinguish between objects when flying, or respect property rights. Should the Paparazzi be allowed to use them for instance, and how do you legislate against their use for illicit purposes, or by peeping toms? Privacy laws may be in place for camera use, but they’re not always applicable when drones are involved.
Drone controls, a hot DilemmaMatch topic
So who controls their use? How do you enforce the regulations? There's a multitude of government legislation, varying from country to country. Plenty of flying tips exist for drone pilots too. The result - confusion and concern. No wonder it’s a favorite topic amongst our DilemmaMatch users!
But perhaps there’s an issue you’re particularly interested in? Our DilemmaMatch app can help you discover what others are thinking. If you’re not already part of the DilemmaMatch community, then download the app for IOS or Android! Start a discussion today!