Beware of the drone! Privacy and security issues with drones

Drones, or “unmanned aerial vehicles,” (UAV) have flown into our lives both for the consumer hobbyist and as commercial and military devices. The market for drones used across all sectors is expected to reach $141 billion by 2023, with the commercial drone market size making up at least $17 billion of that.

Drones are useful, as in really useful, hence the massive market for the devices. The applications for drones in an industrial setting are vast: industrial monitoring; aerial surveillance; aerial imaging which, linked to AI, offers computer vision; even smart agriculture is flying in on the back of drones. And who wouldn’t want a drone, just for the fun of it?

Drone technology is interesting in the cybersecurity field on a number of levels. The “flying eye in the sky” has obvious privacy implications. But drones are also a type of connected device, collecting and sending data for analysis, and this creates implications for the safety and hackability of the devices. This article will look at some of these privacy and security issues that gives the drone a bad name.

A drone’s-eye view of you

In 2013, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the FBI was using drones to carry out surveillance on U.S. soil. In an interview about the scope of this exercise, Mueller said: “We have very few.” That was then.

Now drones are routinely used by governments all over the world. In 2018, Bard College published a report of a study that showed 910 law enforcement agencies and emergency services in the U.S. had purchased drones.

The use of drones in law enforcement is not necessarily a bad thing, of course; if it helps the police to do their job, that can only be good. However, a look at drone use by the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Susan Morrow. Read the original post at: