Do drones invade privacy? That is the big question that is in debate. The answer to the question really depends on who is operating the drone. Those who fly drones are to do so with courtesy and respect of others in mind.
Where to Fly Your Drone
Drones are fun to fly for drone enthusiasts, but they should fly them only in their own space over their property or in public areas. Those who operate their drones this way are acting responsibly and are not invading anyone’s privacy. There is no sense in complaining to those flying their drones in public areas, because they have a right to do so. They will know their legal rights and they will be very open about telling you so if you fuss at them about them flying their drones in a public area.
There is no question that there may be nuts out there from time to time that want to push the boundaries and that fly drones where they should not do so. It is fine to have a drone and to fly it; but to invade someone’s privacy is truly wrong and a violation of the law, for which the offender could and should be legally punished. This could result in fines, a loss of the drone, or even a prison sentence depending on the severity of the invasion of privacy. It likely would result in a restraining order against the person, in which it is stipulated that the person must not fly a drone anymore over the other person’s property.
When Drones Invade Privacy
It is true that a person has violated another person’s privacy if the person flies the drone over private property that is not his or hers. If people are really good neighbors, the person may fly the drone over the property without thinking. And the good neighbor may not mind. But if the neighbors are not close or on good terms, then the neighbor may very well mind. If you want extra space to fly your drone and want to fly over your neighbor’s property, you should ask permission first. But bare in mind, that your neighbors do not have to allow you to fly your drone over their property. Common courtesy would suggest that you only fly your drone over their property when they are not home, only if they have given you permission to do so.
Flying the drone high in the sky over the property may not seem like an invasion of privacy to the one flying the drone or to the one whose property it is flown over if the drone is high up in the sky. But if you notice a drone flying close to your window, or even high up but hovering within sight of the window, then you can be sure that someone is likely trying to spy on you in your home; because many drones today are equipped with cameras.
Even if you are on good terms with your neighbor, that does not give him or her the right to be bringing their drone close to your windows to capture you on camera. You should talk to the neigbhor if you think that he or she is easy to talk to and will resolve the issue by not flying the drone near your windows. But if the person does not comply with your request, or if you do not feel comfortable talking to the person, you do have every right to file a complaint with the police.
Also see: Can Small Drones be Detected by Radar?