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House of Representatives: Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2013

Published March 19, 2013

Representative Markey introduced this bill on March 19, 2013, which aims "to provide guidance and limitations regarding the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into United States airspace, and for other purposes." This bill also amends FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

Excerpt from the bill:

Congress finds the following:

(1) On February 14, 2012, President Obama 1 signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2 2012 (Public Law 112–95; 49 U.S.C. 40101 note) into law, and sections 331 through 336 of such Act require the Federal Aviation Administration to fully integrate government, commercial, and recreational unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as ''drones'', into United States airspace by October 8 2015.

(2) Unmanned aircraft systems have traditionally been used almost exclusively overseas by military and security organizations; however, State and local governments, businesses, and private individuals are increasingly using unmanned aircraft systems in the United States, including deployments for law enforcement operations.

(3) As the technology advances and the cost decreases—unmanned aircraft systems are already orders of magnitude less expensive to purchase and operate than piloted aircraft—the market for Federal, State, and local government and commercial un-manned aircraft systems is rapidly growing.

(4) It has been estimated there could be as many as 30,000 unmanned aircraft systems in the sky in the United States by 2020.

(5) There will no doubt be many beneficial applications of this technology, for as Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a statement on March 7, 2012, ''Unmanned aircraft can help us meet a number of challenges, from spotting wildfires 5 to assessing natural disasters.''.

(6) However, there also is the potential for un-manned aircraft system technology to enable invasive and pervasive surveillance without adequate privacy protections, and currently, no explicit privacy protections or public transparency measures with respect to such system technology are built into the law.

(7) Federal standards for informing the public and protecting individual privacy with respect to un-manned aircraft systems are needed.

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