Drones Lawsuit – FAA & Drone Slayer Privacy Laws

On December 28, 2017 the FAA released a report on its research into drone safety. The study explored how drones would comply with privacy laws as opposed to manned aircraft and what that might mean for consumers who purchase unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The “u.s. supreme court cases involving drones” is a lawsuit that was filed against the FAA by Drone Slayer, Inc. The company argued that the FAA’s rules violated their privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and California state law.

Drones Lawsuit - FAA & Drone Slayer Privacy Laws

Drones are often presented as simple “toys,” and they are even given to little toddlers to play with. During the 2016 Christmas season, 1.5 million Americans received drones as gifts.

Drones, on the other hand, are more complicated and possibly deadly than your usual toy. Drone operation isn’t always simple, and it’s easy to lose control of one. Drones have crashed with aircraft, important landmarks, electricity lines, and even persons as a consequence of this. Drone operators and manufacturers are being sued by those who have been harmed, have had their property damaged, or have had their privacy infringed as a result of a drone.  

How Are Drones Controlled?

Commercial and hobbyist drones, often known as unmanned aerial vehicles, are presently regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (UAVs). A remote pilot certificate, which costs $150 and requires passing a multiple-choice exam, is necessary for commercial drone pilots.

Drones that weigh less than 55 pounds and are operated only for recreational reasons do not need to be registered with the FAA under the 2014 FAA Special Rule for Model Aircraft. However, recreational drone pilots must still follow federal regulations, such as not flying:

  • Near airports: Before flying within 5 miles of an airport, operators must provide advance notification.
  • Drones must always give way to human aircraft while flying near them.
  • Drones are not permitted to fly within a three-mile radius of stadiums during (or one hour before or after) a Major League Baseball, National Football League, or NCAA Division I football game, or a major motor racing event.
  • The White House, the Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam, and Mount Rushmore are among the significant landmarks.
  • Drones near emergency response activities, for example, may obstruct aircraft battling wildfires.
  • More than 400 feet
  • Outside the line of sight of the drone pilot
  • From 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before daybreak, it’s dark.

SkyPan is being sued by the FAA for illegal drone footage.

Just because the FAA has tight commercial drone restrictions doesn’t imply everyone follows them. SkyPan took overhead images of densely inhabited regions using drones, which they subsequently released. The photographs were taken between 2012 and 2014, when the government had not yet approved the use of drones for commercial purposes.

SkyPan was fined $200,000 by the FAA. SkyPan also agreed to pay $150,000 if they break FAA rules next year, and another $150,000 if they break the conditions of the settlement. However, SkyPan promised to assist the FAA in the production of three public service announcements to “urge drone operators to study and comply with” drone legislation.

Commercial Drone Regulations are Relaxed by Executive Order

The Executive Order permits corporations to request exceptions from drone limitations like as flying over people, at night, or beyond the line of sight of the drone operator.

Despite the fact that drone makers have yet to perfect drone safety, the federal government is making it simpler for businesses to get exceptions from existing drone restrictions.

The Trump administration issued an executive order on October 25, 2017 that permits for a higher number of commercial drones in the air. The directive empowers the FAA and the Department of Transportation to issue companies exceptions from drone limitations like as flying over people, at night, or beyond the line of sight of the drone operator.

The presidential order also established the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program, which will bring together industry, state, municipal, and tribal governments to develop drone legislation. Before establishing national rules, the program will conduct tests over the following three years.


One justification for loosening FAA rules was that other nations were outpacing the United States in terms of commercial drone usage and development. Google is now trying drone delivery in Australia, while Amazon is testing it in the United Kingdom. Drone delivery was almost difficult in the United States due to restrictions on flying drones over people or outside of the operator’s line of sight.

Experts caution, however, that loosening FAA standards might result in more turmoil than creativity. “The ramifications of that unstructured environment make it more tough to mix in UAS in a highly dynamic and complicated airspace,” Jim Gregory, who coordinates UAV integration inside the current airspace system, told Wired.

According to Gregory, the FAA monitors 40,000 aircraft every day in the United States, which is a significantly more crowded airspace system than in other regions of the globe.

Do There Exist Any Drone Privacy Laws?

Drones represent a significant privacy risk since they may easily go unnoticed while filming in people’s backyards, inside their houses, or in public locations where they don’t expect to be photographed or videotaped. Even while there have been reports of drones hovering above sunbathers on public beaches or in people’s backyards throughout the world—and in some instances, individuals have responded by shooting down the drones—privacy rules protecting customers from nosy drones are still in their infancy.  

Only five states have approved drone privacy legislation thus far.

Consumer advocacy groups have also highlighted concerns about shops and insurance firms using drones to collect data that may be used for advertising reasons, such as where and when consumers buy.

Only five states have approved drone privacy legislation so far: California, Alaska, Florida, Michigan, and Texas. According to California law, drone operators (including paparazzi) can be sued for invasion of privacy if they attempt to capture “any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff engaging in a personal or familial activity under circumstances in which the plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy…regardless of whether there is a physical trespass.”

Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) presented the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act in March 2017 to guarantee that all Americans’ privacy is protected. The measure would force the FAA to ask registered drone operators, including local police agencies, whether, how, and why they are gathering and recording data with their drones. The rule also requires the FAA to construct a publicly available website with all registered drone users’ data collecting declarations.

Suit against the “Drone Slayer” is dismissed by a federal judge. 

In a lawsuit initiated by David Boggs, the right to privacy was challenged in court. Mr. Boggs piloted his drone over William Merideth’s (called “Drone Slayer”) property. Mr. Merideth fired down the drone because he couldn’t figure out why it was hovering over his yard and what type of data it was gathering.

Mr. Merideth alleged the drone was trespassing in the air and invading his privacy. The case was dismissed by US District Judge Thomas B. Russell, who eventually sided with Mr. Merideth.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Drone Accident?

In the case of a drone accident, the drone operator, as well as the manufacturer, may be held accountable for any injuries sustained. According to statistics from drone crashes over the previous decade, technical problems, not operator mistake, have caused the bulk of drone casualties.

According to RMIT University experts, the most frequent technical failure is a lack of contact between the drone and the controllers. A manufacturer might be held accountable for injuries and damages caused by a drone crash if the drone was designed with defects.

Who Can File a Lawsuit Against a Drone?

You may be able to file a lawsuit if you were harmed by one of the following:

  • A drone collision might result in physical harm.
  • An unlicensed drone has intruded on someone’s privacy.
  • Other injuries, whether physical, financial, or personal

What Kinds of Damages Can a Lawsuit Recover?

Compensation for the following damages may be recovered via a lawsuit:

  • Medical costs from the past and the future
  • Earnings that have been lost
  • Suffering and pain

Have you been a victim of a drone attack?

If you were injured or lost because of a drone, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the drone operator or manufacturer. Our lawyers are no strangers to high-stakes litigation or taking on huge organizations. They have recovered over $5 billion for over 200,000 customers to date. For a free, no-obligation legal consultation, contact us now.

Watch This Video-

The “can police use drones without a warrant” is a question that has been asked by many. The FAA and the Drone Slayer Privacy Laws have some answers to this question.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a person sue the FAA?

A: It is highly unlikely that a person would have the resources to sue the FAA. They are an independently-run organization, and when they believe someone has violated their guidelines or rules, they can take legal action against them.

Is Uavs getting sued?

A: Uavs is not getting sued.

Is it illegal to fly a drone over someones house?

A: No, it is not illegal to fly a drone over someones house. It may be frowned upon and have consequences if something bad were to happen as a result of the drone flying in such close proximity with people or property but that doesnt make it against the law.

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