Privacy issues and drone technology for you next term paper

If you think that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy at work, school or at home, then think again. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) otherwise known as drone technology have become so invasive that you may never know true privacy again.

Drone technology has increased privacy concerns. (Credit:

Drone technology has increased privacy concerns. (Credit:

Once the subject of science fiction, surveillance methods are such that a robotic vehicle can literally be the fly on the wall at a business meeting, political conference or in your home. Privacy issues aren’t just for political figures or the rich and famous. It may be time for you to explore this topic in your next term paper.

Drone technology

Like many college students, you probably find yourself attached to your tech devices constantly. You probably can’t imagine what life would be like without the ability to text someone and get an immediate reply. Shopping and research for your term papers are at your fingertips and can be done anytime and anywhere.

Technology has indeed improved our lives, but what is the cost? Thanks to the efforts of Edward Snowden we now know that companies and governments have the ability to track our every keystroke and gather vast amounts of information about us based on our online activity.

We already know how easy it is to monitor your phone calls. Who hasn’t noticed how video cameras are everywhere from traffic intersections to your school library?  Now with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, it is possible to spy on people in ways that were once limited to science fiction.

What does privacy mean in the Internet age? How do we reap the benefits of new technology while guarding our privacy?

This question is at the heart of the book, Privacy and Surveillance with New Technologies by Peter P. Swire and Ahmad Kenesa and is available at

When it comes to ensuring your privacy, you may think that you’ve got yourself protected by using technology to shield you. Think again.

According to Swire and Kenesa, “OK, let’s say you correspond by email and use a computerized encryption program to ensure that your messages are read only by the intended recipient. What good will all the ciphers and codes do if some adversary can fly a gnat-sized camera into your room, station it above your desk, and watch every keystroke that you type?”

Want to learn more? Be sure to check out the tools and tutorials at Questia where you can learn how to research and write your term papers.

Concern over privacy issues

Swire and Kenesa aren’t the only ones who are concerned about privacy issues. In a September 12, 2014, article for, “Sotomayor Concerned About Drones and Privacy, Says You Should Be Too,” Lily Hay Newman quoted Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the subject.

“There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom,” said Sotomayor.

The California law

It is often true that California leads the nation in setting policy. If that is true then we may be in for a lot of controversy regarding privacy issues.

On Sunday September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have required a court-issued warrant before police could use a drone to do surveillance.

On September 29, 2014, Natasha Minsker described the reaction of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the article, “Warrant for Drones Veto Was the Wrong Decision.”

“Without proper safeguards, including a warrant requirement, drones and other surveillance technology have the potential to be misused for racial and religious profiling. After what we’ve learned about mass surveillance by the NSA and various police misconduct in Ferguson, Missouri, the public isn’t buying law enforcement’s “just trust us” approach anymore,” Minsker said.

You can read about the social and ethical aspects of science and technology at Questia where you can read millions of full-text books and articles.

Are you concerned about how drone technology might affect your life? Tell us in the comments.

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