A small drone obtained by a local Florida news station is revealing just why some have privacy — and safety — concerns regarding the ever expanding use of such surveillance technology by both the government and hobbyists.
WKMG-TV, covering the Orlando area, reported one if its reporter finding a RC aerial vehicle that fell out of the sky after losing control and crashing into a tree. The news station was able to obtain more than two hours of footage that was taken by the attached GoPro camera, revealing what the drone had been observing before its fall.
Here’s what WKMG wrote of the footage:
[...] you can see each flight starts innocently enough. But you can see the potential for bad behavior.
In one shot, the drone races toward an apartment window, getting within feet of the glass.
In another shot, the drone hovers over a female sunbather at a pool. She’s completely unaware that it’s there, and she never looks up.
But the scariest shot of all shows the drone wobbling high over I-4 as cars zoom by down below. The drivers have no idea that the drone was out of control at that point, and only seconds away from crashing.
Watch the report with video from the drone:
Using the footage, WKMG was also able to track down the pilot of the drone, finding where he lives. Speaking with the drone’s operator, Guimy Alexis, the station learned he didn’t intend any harm.
“The only thing I want to do is essentially record a flight, put some music on it, and put it on YouTube,” Alexis said.
And although Alexis believe he didn’t do anything wrong, he told WKMG he worries about others doing “something stupid.”
“But if someone does do something stupid, they’re the bad apple, the bad egg. They’re the exception, they’re not the vast majority of us. The vast majority of us just do this for fun.”
Under the current FAA regulations for hobbyists using an RC system the operator must be in sight of the device. When Alexis lost control of his home-built drone, it flew out of his line of sight, which he said was an accidental electrical problem.
TheBlaze has also learned in the past that businesses currently using such unmanned systems for a variety of services are not authorized to do so under the FAA’s regulations.
State Representative Dana Young (R-Tampa) who reviewed the footage WKMG obtained said that it makes her “want to go back and look at the law we passed last year, and see if there are ways to tweak it.”
Florida’s current law governing drone use only applies to law enforcement, not citizens.
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