EU publishes new rules for operating drones

11 Jun 2019

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published common rules for the use of drones within the EU. The rules will ensure a safe and secure way of using drones while enabling their free circulation. The new rules include technical as well as operational requirements for drones. For example, the drones will have to be individually identifiable, to prevent past incidents such as the 2018 Gatwick and Heathrow airports shutting down. In addition, in cases in which the drones are equipped with sensors that collect personal data, the operators must be registered in order to protect people’s privacy and personal data. The new rules will replace existing rules in the EU Member States and will enter into force in the next 20 days but they will be applicable only in one year, to give the states and the operators time to prepare and implement it.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) includes a wide range of Internet-connected devices, from highly digitalised cars, home appliances (e.g. fridges), and smart watches, to digitalised clothes that can monitor health. IoT devices are often connected in wide-systems, typically described as 'smart houses' or 'smart cities'.

Privacy and data protection are two interrelated Internet governance issues. Data protection is a legal mechanism that ensures privacy. Privacy is usually defined as the right of any citizen to control their own personal information and to decide about it (to disclose information or not). Privacy is a fundamental human right. It is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights conventions. The July 2015 appointment of the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age reflects the rising importance of privacy in global digital policy, and the recognition of the need to address privacy rights issues the the global, as well as national levels.


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