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Thematic Issue: Conceptions of Ownership / General

Drones and Invasions of Privacy: An International Comparison of Legal Responses

Author

Des Butler

Privacy has been recognised nationally and internationally as a major challenge posed by the growing proliferation of drones, otherwise known as ‘remotely piloted aircraft’, ‘small unmanned aircraft’ or ‘unmanned aircraft systems’, with surveillance capability. Currently in Australia an uneven landscape of common law causes of action, surveillance statutes and data protection laws provide fragmented protection of privacy. This article compares that legal response with those of the United Kingdom and the United States. It identifies commonalities and differences between those approaches that may be instructive as Australia determines the appropriate response to the potential of invasion of privacy posed by this form of transformative technology.

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