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Invasion Of Privacy

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Jan 6, 2019
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#1
We all want to follow the rules and regulations for drone flying. I am flying a Mavic Air which I registered, and I contacted my local airport for my height restrictions. I have not seen any rule on how low you can fly, and what would become an invasion of privacy. Other than being a good neighbor and using common sense, is there a rule or penalty for what I would call an invasion of someones home or would the person being invaded simply call police? Has anyone had this experience?
 

MichiganMavic

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#2
I don’t usually go any lower than 125’ around urban areas.
I wouldn’t want to see a drone flying around ME any lower. This way, it can be easily argued that I cannot see into your house windows if anyone complains.
During the summer, I had a Dad come over to the school field that I was flying around in and accuse me of spying his kids while they were in their yard swimming. After a few choice words were exchanged, he left.
A few hours later, he came back to apologize because the drone he thought was me, turned out to be his neighbor flying really low next door. Turned out that we were both right in the end, I wasn’t flying that closely, and there was a drone flying in his yard!
 

beanbubba

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#3
We all want to follow the rules and regulations for drone flying. I am flying a Mavic Air which I registered, and I contacted my local airport for my height restrictions. I have not seen any rule on how low you can fly, and what would become an invasion of privacy. Other than being a good neighbor and using common sense, is there a rule or penalty for what I would call an invasion of someones home or would the person being invaded simply call police? Has anyone had this experience?
Fly high and don't loiter/hover over folks homes and you will never have an issue.
 

Thunderdrones

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#4
Out of sight, out of mind. If your neighbors or other party that you are flying near cant see or hear you, there's no problem.

On every flight, as soon as I take off, I remain above my home point, climb vertically to 385' and then start flying. You will be over your own property while you are vertically climbing, and then as you transition to forward flight, you will be practically invisible to anyone who is not specifically looking for you.

Also, with any of my M2's, even if someone was looking for it at 350' up, they would have a hard time finding it at 35mph lol
 
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beanbubba

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#5
Out of sight, out of mind. If your neighbors or other party that you are flying near cant see or hear you, there's no problem.

On every flight, as soon as I take off, I remain above my home point, climb vertically to 385' and then start flying. You will be over your own property while you are doing this, and then as you transition to forward flight, you will be practically invisible to anyone who is not specifically looking for you.
Wise words :) I literally do the exact same thing when flying from the house, except full throttle straight up to get out of earshot quickly.
 

beanbubba

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#6
We all want to follow the rules and regulations for drone flying. I am flying a Mavic Air which I registered, and I contacted my local airport for my height restrictions. I have not seen any rule on how low you can fly, and what would become an invasion of privacy. Other than being a good neighbor and using common sense, is there a rule or penalty for what I would call an invasion of someones home or would the person being invaded simply call police? Has anyone had this experience?
Nobody ever answered your original question.

In the US, the FAA literally "owns" the air space all the way to the ground. Although it is a horrible idea and not being a good neighbor, you can legally fly your drone in your neighbors back yard without breaking the law (assuming you are not flying over people).
 
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#9
Nobody ever answered your original question.

In the US, the FAA literally "owns" the air space all the way to the ground. Although it is a horrible idea and not being a good neighbor, you can legally fly your drone in your neighbors back yard without breaking the law (assuming you are not flying over people).
That may be, but at that point ( at least in my yard ) you would lose your drone.
 

Zeke

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#10
I don’t usually go any lower than 125’ around urban areas.
I wouldn’t want to see a drone flying around ME any lower. This way, it can be easily argued that I cannot see into your house windows if anyone complains.
During the summer, I had a Dad come over to the school field that I was flying around in and accuse me of spying his kids while they were in their yard swimming. After a few choice words were exchanged, he left.
A few hours later, he came back to apologize because the drone he thought was me, turned out to be his neighbor flying really low next door. Turned out that we were both right in the end, I wasn’t flying that closely, and there was a drone flying in his yard!
"A few hours later..." Holy crap how many batteries do you have anyway? ;-)
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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#11
I am fairly sure privacy laws are along the lines of “a person has a right to privacy where reasonably expected to have privacy”.
From what I’ve gleaned from threads here in the past and on various other places, this would include a persons backyard.

It’s hard to imagine that someone can sit out front of anyone’s home or business with a dslr and tele lens and legally film into your uncovered front windows.

And of course anyone in public can be filmed or photographed anytime, with exception to children and probably to adults if done in a sexual way (covertly etc).

Anyone with normal decency and common sense should not have an issue with this, but of course that works the other way too in the case of the other party who THINKS their rights are being violated, so conflict is not always in the pilots’ control.
 

bushie

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#13
It depends very much what country you are in and the OP does not tell us.

In Australia it depeds what state you are in and even then much of the law WRT to UAVs is untested
 

Chip

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#14
It depends very much what country you are in and the OP does not tell us.

In Australia it depends what state you are in and even then much of the law WRT to UAVs is untested
Yes, there are big differences in drone laws between states in the USA. Everyone should double check where they live because many states have passed laws in last three years:

Consider this excerpt from Florida law:

(b) A person, a state agency, or a political subdivision as defined in s. 11.45 may not use a drone equipped with an imaging device to record an image of privately owned real property or of the owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of such property with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property captured in the image in violation of such person’s reasonable expectation of privacy without his or her written consent. For purposes of this section, a person is presumed to have a reasonable expectation of privacy on his or her privately owned real property if he or she is not observable by persons located at ground level in a place where they have a legal right to be, regardless of whether he or she is observable from the air with the use of a drone.

Consider this excerpt from Idaho law:

(2)
(a) Absent a warrant, and except for emergency response for safety, search and rescue or controlled substance investigations, no person, entity or state agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to intentionally conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record specifically targeted persons or specifically targeted private property including, but not limited to:
(i) An individual or a dwelling owned by an individual and such dwelling’s curtilage, without such individual’s written consent;
(ii) A farm, dairy, ranch or other agricultural industry without the written consent of the owner of such farm, dairy, ranch or other agricultural industry.
(b) No person, entity or state agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to photograph or otherwise record an individual, without such individual’s written consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating such photograph or recording (emphasis added).
 
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#15
Nobody ever answered your original question.

In the US, the FAA literally "owns" the air space all the way to the ground. Although it is a horrible idea and not being a good neighbor, you can legally fly your drone in your neighbors back yard without breaking the law (assuming you are not flying over people).
That is not exactly true. There have been federal court cases ruling land owners have ownership of the sky above their land. There are no laws relating to this, but there have been some interesting. Navigable Airspace for Drones: Private Property Rights and Regulated Airspace
 

Chip

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#17
As far as flying or hovering over private or public property (at any height), again, it is best to check your state's laws very carefully because you may be surprised what you find. Consider Oregon law which prohibits drone flights over private or public land without permission:

837.380 Owners of real property; Attorney General.
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this state may bring an action against any person or public body that operates an unmanned aircraft system that is flown over the property if:

(a) The operator of the unmanned aircraft system has flown the unmanned aircraft system over the property on at least one previous occasion; and

(b) The person notified the owner or operator of the unmanned aircraft system that the person did not want the unmanned aircraft system flown over the property.

(2) A person may not bring an action under this section if:

(a) The unmanned aircraft system is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield or runway; and

(b) The unmanned aircraft system is in the process of taking off or landing.

(3) A person may not bring an action under this section if the unmanned aircraft system is operated for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration. This subsection does not preclude a person from bringing another civil action, including but not limited to an action for invasion of privacy or an action for invasion of personal privacy under ORS 30.865.

(4) A prevailing plaintiff may recover treble damages for any injury to the person or the property by reason of a trespass by an unmanned aircraft system as described in this section, and may be awarded injunctive relief in the action.

(5) A prevailing plaintiff may recover attorney fees under ORS 20.080 if the amount pleaded in an action under this section is $10,000 or less.

(6) The Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Oregon, may bring an action or claim for relief alleging nuisance or trespass arising from the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in the airspace over this state. A court shall award reasonable attorney fees to the Attorney General if the Attorney General prevails in an action under this section.
 

53-63-6f-74-74

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#19
As far as flying or hovering over private or public property (at any height), again, it is best to check your state's laws very carefully because you may be surprised what you find. Consider Oregon law which prohibits drone flights over private or public land without permission:

837.380 Owners of real property; Attorney General.
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this state may bring an action against any person or public body that operates an unmanned aircraft system that is flown over the property if:
.
This is very interesting, since it is well-known (as memos have been released by the FAA) that a state cannot regulate airspace, but may only regulate take-off or landing of UAVs. It is irrelevant whether the aircraft is manned or not.
 

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