As the media starts to deploy small toy-like drones to cover stories, what ethical and safety issues are arising?
Drone Journalism Lab founder Matt Waite said: "What are the property rights over your home? Am I trespassing by flying over your house? Beyond questions of personal privacy, another issue raised is the free speech issues raised by drones. For instance if there is a bad chemical spill... and police close the area down to keep people away... can I fly a drone over it and get a look? What if police close the airspace? Where is the line between the public's right to know about something versus the state's want for security?" (...)
"I understand people being uncomfortable with the faceless 'capital M' media getting flying robots with cameras. It's a similar concern as police getting the same: eyes in the skies, watching all the time." (...)
The assocation doesn't have a problem with the concept of responsible drone journalism and Ms Mactavish laughs off concerns over the potential for a greater invasion of privacy. "You've got to keep this in perspective - they won't be doing anything new. Google Earth can look right down into your backyard. Satellites have been doing this for 20 years. "They've arrived... Now it's all about safe and ethical deployment."
By Mark Corcoran from Foreign Correspondent
ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Feb 21, 2012