Description: While the US continues to tweak their UAV policies, causing frustration amongst drone hobbyists at times, other countries have made drone use much more difficult. Sweden recently passed a law prohibiting camera drone use in public places without a surveillance permit.
This week, the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden passed a law stating that drone cameras are considered surveillance, which they say violates a persons’ right of privacy. Drone operators now have to go through an application process and pay a significant fee to get their drones off the ground. This payment only gets the process started, however, and can ultimately be denied by county administrators if they feel it overrides the public’s right to privacy. The court will decide on a case-by-case basis.
Looking for a potential loophole or work around? No such luck—the law will provide no exceptions. According to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Sweden’s leading drone company, 3,000 jobs may be lost because of this decision. Drone racers, video journalists, as well as nature and wedding photographers are all expected to be affected. Sweden opted to allow bicycles and cars to continue their usage of cameras because of the proximity of their recording devices to the vehicle operator. As long as the device goes where the operator does, it’s not considered surveillance.
This ruling is causing quite a stir in Sweden and despite repeated appeals, the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision and consequently, have drone owners angry and searching for answers.
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