A DRONE has been hovering over the house of Bayswater councillor Chris Cornish in recent days, convincing him of the need for the WA government to get serious about protecting privacy.
“We don’t like it when we hang around the pool,” he tells the Voice. “This thing’s been hanging around for three days solid”.
In one of his regular blog posts, Cr Cornish notes one of the year’s most popular Christmas gifts was a drone featuring a “14 megapixel fisheye camera” that can hook straight into YouTube and Facebook to share footage.
“To date I am not aware of any local, state or federal rules which prohibit or control the use of drones (for private use) over private property,” he says.
There are other serious issues to consider other than privacy, says Cr Cornish, such as scouting properties before burglary and stalking.
He concedes the issue is not on the council’s radar but says he will “try and get a local law to prohibit them over private property and spur the state government into action” if the issue is raised with him.
Drones are governed by the civil aviation safety authority, but that national body has no jurisdiction over privacy.
Its website states, “one thing you will not find in the list of advisory circular topics is the effect of remote piloted aircraft on privacy. Privacy and RPA is a real issue, but as the aviation safety regulator, CASA’s task is restricted to aviation safety.”
by DAVID BELL