Google criticizes the new laws for drones

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Google‘s Wing drone delivery unit has criticized Trump administration rules issued in December 2020 that provide for remote ID identification, saying they should be reviewed to allow online tracking.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules allowing small drones to fly over people and at night in the United States and enforce remote identification technology for nearly all drones.

The rules remove the requirements for drones, officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles, to be connected to the Internet to transmit location data, but require them to transmit identifier messages remotely via wireless transmission.

Without this change, it would have been possible to prevent the use of such aircraft in areas without an Internet connection.

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“This approach creates barriers to compliance and has unintended negative privacy impacts for businesses and consumers,” Wing said.

“The observer who tracks the drone can infer sensitive information about specific users, including where to visit, time spent, where and when customers receive parcels,” It added.

Wing explained that American communities will not accept this type of monitoring for deliveries or taxi trips and that they should not accept it in the sky.

Wing called on the US Federal Aviation Administration to expand the ways in which operators can comply with identity requirements.

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The US Federal Aviation Administration said it had received and processed more than 50,000 public comments on the proposed remote identification base, which promotes the safe integration of drones into the national airspace system.

The International Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems stated that the remote identifier acts as a digital license plate for the aircraft, enabling more complex operations during the night and over-person operations.

Drone manufacturers will have 18 months to start producing drones equipped with the remote ID, and operators will have an additional year to provide identification remotely.

The Google unit argues that the internet-based tracking allows the drone to be identified while in flight without necessarily sharing the full flight path or flight history.

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Chinese drone maker DJI said it has long supported the US Federal Aviation Administration’s initiative as it promotes accountability, safety, and security of drones.

“We are reviewing the bottom line to understand how DJI can take steps toward compliance with the upcoming requirements of the US Federal Aviation Administration,” It said.

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