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Why is no one asking about the growing use of drones by police in India?

The govt says it is aware of the privacy concerns related to drone usage in R&D. But what about the issues that arise with its use in policing?

What’s the news: Ministry of Civil Aviation on April 3, 2023, said, “The Government is well aware about the question of privacy in relation to UAV/Drones for the purpose of research, development and testing purposes.” It followed the assertion with a list of restrictions put on drones for these purposes. But what about the use of drones in policing? Where are the questions and related answers about the protection of privacy when drones are used by law enforcement agencies? The government’s reply in the Parliament listed various requirements like drone’s type certificate, unique identification number, prior permission, etc., when taking privacy measures for the abovementioned purposes. However, even the questions asked in the Parliament do not touch upon the use of drones for policing in India. Why it matters: Over the years, MediaNama has extensively covered the use of drones by police, including tear-gas-shell-dropping drones to “control protests.” The use of technologies in such a manner poses a much bigger risk to privacy. So, where are the questions regarding this? For example: Who sanctions and oversees the usage of drones in policing? What kind of data is collected by the police using these drones? For how long is the data collected? What are the privacy-securing measures to protect citizens’ fundamental rights from such use of drones? Are there provisions in place to regulate the use of drones in policing? If not, why? Can residents of India ask for their data to be deleted in such situations? What are the implications…

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Written By

I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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