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US drone location tracking rules met with criticism; India mulls similar move

In a significant development, the US allowed small drones to fly over people and at night. The country will also require drones to have a Remote ID — to essentially broadcast their location, along with the location of their operators. The rules will kick in from 2023, and even older drones will have to be retrofitted with the technology. The idea is that by means of this broadcasted location, the government and other law enforcement agencies will have more insight into not just the drones flying around them, but also the people flying them.  This is significant not just from the US’s perspective, but also for regulators closer home in India, as the country mulls dabbling with Remote ID for drones as part of a larger drone traffic automation exercise (more on that below). However, the requirement of Remote ID has been met with opposition — Alphabet’s drone division Wing has come out with scathing criticism of the rule, claiming it violates privacy.  The distance till which a drone will have to broadcast its location is unclear at the moment, but the country’s aviation regulator, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), has now made it possible to broadcast the ID over both the internet, or Bluetooth and WiFi — China’s DJI, the biggest drone company in the world, had criticised an earlier proposal by the FAA which allowed broadcasting only via the internet.  Alphabet’s drone company Wing says the rule is bad for privacy, businesses, and consumers Wing said that the US’…

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