The fast-growing field of technology has brought us exciting and incredible innovations. Each year, our TVs, smartphones, computers, and vehicles are constantly upgrading. Technology has even brought us new hobbies. For example, a popular hobby for tech enthusiasts is drone flying. Drone flying as a hobby has gained significant popularity in recent years. Drone enthusiasts enjoy the thrill of flying these remote-controlled aircraft and capturing breathtaking aerial photos and videos. Some of these drones have an incredible range of over 1500 feet (about the height of the Empire State Building). The impressive range allows users to fly these devices to places they cannot travel themselves, but with this tech advancement, there are potential legal consequences.
The increased popularity and accessibility of drones have raised concerns about the potential invasion of privacy. Drones equipped with cameras and other recording devices can capture images and videos from vantage points that were previously inaccessible, leading to debates about the balance between the use of drones and protecting individuals’ privacy rights. Regarding invasion of privacy, depending on the drone users’ actions they may be liable for intrusion upon seclusion.
Intrusion upon seclusion is a type of invasion of privacy. There are a few elements that must be met to establish a claim. The intrusion must be considered highly offensive, the intrusion must be intentional, it must be upon the solitude of another, and the issue was previously held private. If these elements are satisfied, the wrongdoer may be liable for emotional distress and compensatory damages. These circumstances mostly pertain to flying drones over private property. For example, it may be tempting to see your neighbor’s beautiful renovations they have done to their backyard, but flying a drone to see it is not a good idea. Intruding on their solitude when they could potentially be enjoying very private activities may be considered highly offensive. It is safe to say most individuals would not enjoy being recorded while tanning in their backyard, especially if one was not fully clothed. Drone flying may seem like innocent snooping, but it can carry legal consequences. It is important to be aware of where you are enjoying your drone use and to be wary of local regulations. Drone flying is an exciting hobby and should be continued to be practiced responsibly.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. If you have a potential claim or one is being brought against you, contact King Law at 888-748-KING (5464) for a consultation. We have offices located across western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. We are here to serve you and to guide you as we navigate this journey together.