Markey: Privacy before drone deliveries

Courtesy of Amazon

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said privacy protections need to be in place before Amazon starts delivering packages with drones.

Markey noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering expanding the commercial use of drones, but said privacy worries must be met first.

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“Before drones start delivering packages, we need the FAA to deliver privacy protections for the American public," he said in a statement.

"Convenience should never trump constitutional protections," Markey continued. “Before our skies teem with commercial drones, clear rules must be set that protect the privacy and safety of the public."

The FAA is scheduled to issue a ruling on the impact of increasing the use of commercial drones on the U.S. airline industry by 2015.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made headlines in an interview on Sunday with CBS News' "60 Minutes" where he said his company could use drones to speed up delivery times if the FAA grants the approval for increased use.

Markey has introduced legislation to require the FAA to develop a privacy policy before it gives the go-head for greater drone use.

Markey's bill, which has been dubbed the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, would require the FAA to make sure that police agencies had warrants before they conducted any surveillance using drones. 

“My drone privacy legislation requires transparency on the domestic use of drones and adds privacy protections that ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans," the Massachusetts senator said.

"I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this bipartisan issue to ensure that strong personal privacy protections and public transparency measures are put in place now.”