Company launches no-drone database for private residents

Company launches no-drone database for private residents
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A California-based company is trying to give American homeowners a way to protect their privacy from drones ahead of flight regulations from the federal government. 

On Tuesday, NoFlyZone launched a global database where private residents can register their property as a no-drone fly area. 

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How it works: residents enter their address in an online database on NoFlyZone.org and create a virtual barrier, or geo-fence, around their property. Drone companies participating in NoFlyZone’s consortium then honor the request for privacy.  

In the next 10 years, company CEO Ben Marcus expects drones to be used as commonly as cellphones, but he said the ever-advancing technology comes with legitimate privacy concerns. 

“[The Federal Aviation Administration] does a tremendous job of managing safety, but it’s never had privacy as a mandate,” he said. “This is an issue our industry wants to take on and solve using the technology we have available to us rather than regulation.” 

The company said seven manufacturers and suppliers — EHANG, DroneDeploy, YUNEEC, HEXO+, PixiePath, RCFlyMaps and Horizon Hobby — have already agreed to honor requests and create exclusion zones.

“We can be self regulating on this issue,” Marcus said. “We already have the technology to create geofence exclusion zones like the one around White House, but now we’re expanding that technology to private property.” 

Though free for private residents, the for-profit company hopes to generate future revenue by offering premium services like the ability to set airspace preferences — say no to camera drones for example, but yes to drone deliveries from companies like Amazon, now experimenting with the technology. 

Marcus said there might also be a market for a NoFlyZone business database. 

“I see many partnership opportunities in the future with drone companies that see value in the data we are providing,” he said.