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DJI responds to FAA NPRM on Remote ID

I B Spectre

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DroneDJ reports Brendan Schulman of DJI has posted an article calling the current FAA proposal as "deeply flawed", saying "We strongly support drone remote ID, but not like this". A good read and it ends with suggestions on how to maximize the effectiveness of your comment submissions to the FAA before the period closes March 2nd. Here's the link: DJI responds to FAA on remote ID
 

RotorWash

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Thanks for sharing this I B Spectre. Mr. Schulman makes a lot of good points, including: "The FAA’s only explanation for designing a burdensome “kitchen sink” proposal is that requiring networked drones is “more complete.” Network-based tracking of cars would be “more complete” than license plates too, but it would be so burdensome that drivers wouldn’t accept it, even if it would serve important accountability functions such as solving the estimated 700,000 hit-and-run crashes in the United States each year."
 

sharps45

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If these drone manufacturers would just tell the regulators to stuff it, this would go away. Cooperation only gets you regulation.
 
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RotorWash

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Interesting read (attached pdf):

A DJI Technology Whitepaper
“What’s In a Name?” A Call for a Balanced Remote Identification Approach
March 22, 2017
 

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I B Spectre

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Excellent read, RotorWash. DJI makes its own compelling arguments against the FAA's overreaching proposal, but including other diverse interests' statements clearly shows how major stakeholders are also up in arms. I am relieved DJI made a point of saying that only authorized enforcement entities should be able to access the operator's location and personally identifiable information. As it stands, the NPRM is needlessly complex, privacy invading and very expensive to implement. A simple (see also: reliable), effective, inexpensive solution is at hand if the powers-that-be will recognize it. Otherwise, I see issues ranging from non-compliance to court cases coming down the pike. Thanks for posting, RotorWash, it helps with building an effective NPRM comment.
 
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RotorWash

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Excellent read, RotorWash. DJI makes its own compelling arguments against the FAA's overreaching proposal, but including other diverse interests' statements clearly shows how major stakeholders are also up in arms. I am relieved DJI made a point of saying that only authorized enforcement entities should be able to access the operator's location and personally identifiable information. As it stands, the NPRM is needlessly complex, privacy invading and very expensive to implement. A simple (see also: reliable), effective, inexpensive solution is at hand if the powers-that-be will recognize it. Otherwise, I see issues ranging from non-compliance to court cases coming down the pike. Thanks for posting, RotorWash, it helps with building an effective NPRM comment.
The comments in Appendix B still mirror our same concerns about privacy today. With the current proposal giving the ability for the general public to know the location of the pilot being one of our main concerns, not only in regards to privacy but also for the safety of the pilot. I think most of us see a need for law enforcement having this information available but not the general public. Thank you for your input I B Spectre, it's much appreciated.
 

Dan Showalter

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I'll start by saying I haven't read the details of the bill...
Help me understand the safety concerns to the drone pilot if the general public has access to the ID/location... Security wise, I wouldn't want anyone else overriding and taking control of my drone... Safety of the pilot? When I am a passenger in a plane, I don't want to put my life in the hands of some idiot flying near the airport, so in that respect, I don't have much concern over the safety of the drone pilot. Is the concern a roaming mob of anti-drone people will track down pilots that are legally flying their drone?
 

SirThomas

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I'll start by saying I haven't read the details of the bill...
Help me understand the safety concerns to the drone pilot if the general public has access to the ID/location... Security wise, I wouldn't want anyone else overriding and taking control of my drone... Safety of the pilot? When I am a passenger in a plane, I don't want to put my life in the hands of some idiot flying near the airport, so in that respect, I don't have much concern over the safety of the drone pilot. Is the concern a roaming mob of anti-drone people will track down pilots that are legally flying their drone?
The rule is 470 pages long, so you are forgiven for not reading all of it :)
The public WILL have access (if in the range of the transmitted signals) to ID/location but will not be able to look up who that is and where they live. They wanted it to be consistent with license plate info. You can track a license plate (if you are within range to view it), but you likely cannot look up who that plate belongs to to determine the owner.

From the rule comments response section:

Commenters mentioned that the serial number would allow an unmanned aircraft to be linked back to prior owners after resale. They also argued that competitors could track historical information on UAS usage (e.g., by a delivery company).

The Consumer Technology Association submitted survey results showing 90 percent of UAS owners were not comfortable with publicly sharing remote identification information such as pilot location, identification information, and historical flight data; and nearly 40 percent were less likely to purchase a UAS if that is required. Some 166 commenters expressed fear that their personal data could be misused by those who are “enraged by drones” and otherwise harbor antipathy toward UAS operators. Other comments were concerned about the possibility of the broadcasted information being vulnerable to hackers or available for data mining and misuse of registrants’ information, as well as the need to properly protect the data because of proprietary techniques and maneuvers of a company. Several commenters were also concerned about protecting the safety of young pilots and women, and were concerned that criminals may use the data to track them. Many commenters expressed privacy concerns if remote identification message elements became public, including issues related to confrontation leading to assaults or thefts as well as concerns that persons may be able to track where delivery unmanned aircraft have dropped packages.
 

RotorWash

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I'll start by saying I haven't read the details of the bill...
Help me understand the safety concerns to the drone pilot if the general public has access to the ID/location... Security wise, I wouldn't want anyone else overriding and taking control of my drone... Safety of the pilot? When I am a passenger in a plane, I don't want to put my life in the hands of some idiot flying near the airport, so in that respect, I don't have much concern over the safety of the drone pilot. Is the concern a roaming mob of anti-drone people will track down pilots that are legally flying their drone?
If flying vlos in a rural area it's usually not that hard to find the pilot anyway but in an urban area one could become an easier target for criminals looking to steal your kit or for run-of-the-mill drone haters looking to harass you about where you can fly. It would have been preferable for pilot location to be available for law enforcement only.

Here's a snippet from the DSPA article "Remote Identification. A good start."

"Public availability of PIC location is a huge issue. We’ve all heard multiple stories of first hand accounts of people being threatened, physically attacked, and even shot down by people who were not happy with us flying our drones near them. And that was only if they could find us.

Now imagine if you will (in our best Rod Serling accent) what can happen if someone can simply pull out their phone when they see a drone and know exactly where we are. It could become a true Twilight Zone situation indeed.

Public knowledge of our location was the number one concern of every drone operator and pilot we talked to. And many of them decided that they would take preemptive measures in order to protect themselves. And that would likely not end well for anyone."
 

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