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Ethics in Drone Data

Updated: Feb 16, 2022



“Data can be either useful or anonymous, but never both.”

Drone applications largely involve gathering data and analyzing them to get various desired outputs. The data captured should be used very carefully and ethically. And to work ethically it is the moral responsibility of every drone operator to protect the data captured.


The data captured should not violate any regulation or cause harm to any individual or should not create a zone of conflict.


This can be done by ensuring the following:


1. The data that is intended to be collected is necessary and proportional to the meet the intending need of it. Needs from the data should be carefully extracted before selecting a data collecting platform. Whenever possible the data captured by the drone should be used in concurrence with other available data.


2. Always take all the necessary measures to make an informed consent for collecting data using a drone. In case the consent is not taken, one should be extra careful with sharing the data with respect to data privacy and protection.


3. Overarching priority while collecting the data should always be to mitigate risk for the individual. A plan to manage the data i.e. the ownership of the data, standards to use the data and its compatibility with other platforms should be plotted before deploying the drone for a mission.


4. Risk assessment should be carried out in the area of operation covering the data collection and the tools used for analysis.


5. Solutions for privacy should be considered while analysing the data.


6. There should be a firm plan plotting the storage, sharing, discarding, and transmission of data.


Using the data ethically is not only done because of regulation but is done as a moral responsibility of every operator to create a no harm environment and the drone is used in the interest to benefit the society. Using the technology ethically with help in building public confidence in the use of drones.


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