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US senator voices concerns over Amazon’s drones

Timely drone delivery criticised
Tue Dec 03 2013, 13:17
Amazon's Prime Air done in flight

ONLINE RETAILER Amazon's plans to use drones to make deliveries has attracted the attention of US Senator Edward Markey.

Markey, who already has concerns about drones, reacted quickly to Amazon's announcement of its Prime Air Octocopter delivery stream, and called for a look into it. The senator wants updated privacy rules for drones and called on the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to do that before Amazon introduces its flying post wasps.

"Before drones start delivering packages, we need the FAA to deliver privacy protections for the American public. Convenience should never trump constitutional protections. Before our skies teem with commercial drones, clear rules must be set that protect the privacy and safety of the public," Markey said.

"My drone privacy legislation requires transparency on the domestic use of drones and adds privacy protections that ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this bipartisan issue to ensure that strong personal privacy protections and public transparency measures are put in place now."

Last year Markey expressed concerns about wireless surveillance, and that was before Edward Snowden blew his PRISM whistle. Markey proposed the Wireless Surveillance Act in August 2012, and was supported by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Amazon's drone delivery plan is still some years away and will need regulatory approval before launch.

"We're excited to share Prime Air - something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab. The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles," Amazon said yesterday.

"Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations." µ


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