Comments to the NTIA on Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Privacy

April 20, 2015

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation submitted comments in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) request for comment on the multistakeholder process aimed at developing best practices for the commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. This process is an important opportunity to create more public acceptance of this technology by addressing privacy concerns while fostering innovation. 

NTIA should recognize that there is an inherent limitation in conducting a multistakeholder engagement in a nascent industry, since many future industry stakeholders may not yet exist or may be too small to fully participate at this stage. Because drones are still an emerging technology, and because the FAA restricts their commercial uses, many future stakeholders likely will not be part of this initial conversation. Therefore, NTIA should make clear that any outcomes created by this process are intended to evolve based on additional community input and industry changes. Nevertheless, ITIF addressed many questions the NTIA raised regarding the general nature of the stakeholder program, as well as privacy, transparency, and accountability issues related to UAS.