August 16th, 2013
07:46 PM ET

Is your privacy safe with drones?

Drones with super-size cameras may be coming to a town near you in the not too distant future. But the debate over their implication for personal privacy is already heating up. Chris Lawrence reports for CNN's 'Erin Burnett Out Front.'


Filed under: drones • Security Clearance on TV • Technology
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Andrea Lester

    Every single word you type into Facebook, Twitter or anything owned by Google is used to spy on you and manipulate you into buying things you don't need. Why would you do that? What do you tell yourself to rationalize letting those corporations do that to you?

    August 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  2. kgala

    Frankly, it is a good idea to not pick nose in the public, wear clean underwear and socks without holes, with or without the drones.

    August 19, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  3. Ron

    When everyday, honest, working Americans are even considering an issue like this it's a definite sign that our federal government is very seriously over funded.

    August 19, 2013 at 1:22 am | Reply
    • jboh

      Your comment makes no sense. Just more TEA/GOP talking points. If you are speaking from true belief, you must be cutting the bloated, wasteful defense budget.

      August 19, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • Ron

        OK

        August 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • George patton

        Thank you, jboh. You nailed it good!

        August 19, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  4. Mr. Ruzicho

    Honestly I do not have much privacy anyways.

    August 19, 2013 at 1:13 am | Reply
  5. justified11

    Power corrupts... and on we go into oblivion... "The middle class is shrinking." "The count-down to another wall street crash is coming" Pay attention to what is going on and to forthcoming headlines, it is only the beginning. Pray!!!

    August 18, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • John McKane

      Well posted, justified11. It's too bad that most people are simply ignoring the red flags that you mentioned above. I believe that sooner or later this economy will tank again, thanks to the brainless, right-wing politicians, both Democrat and Republican who find that these drones are more important than our welfare!

      August 19, 2013 at 12:04 am | Reply
      • Pete

        @john,one question bud what the heck do drones have to do with our economy or our welfare they're not firing at you...These drones are much like police patrolling our streets and if you're not doing anything extreme against our country or anyone in government,why worry!!Quit worrying so much!!

        August 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  6. justified11

    There is still yet another sign that Americans are, have been, and will continue to lose their rights and freedoms. Hello? Did you read it, understand it, and yet you are powerless to do anything right? The strength in Americans used to be the ability to organize and collectively stand up against tryanny. Americans have become weak and lacking the courage or will to worry about, take action for, the falling future of our children. The future as I see it for average Americans will be one that is controlled, more so than it is now. True statistic: 400 of wealthy people control the economy of 150 million. Uneducated and poor; and the educated and poor; will be one in the same. They have already taken control and you don't even know it. Do you really think your vote means anything? If you do, then pick the lowest paid, the most meger person to vote in office and see if it means anything. Big money, super-rich money controls our government and everything in our society. Once they've plundered it all and taken everything from the so-called generations left of the middle-class; it will be a done deal. The middle-class has been cut down and is vanishing. Greed has consumed this society, and will lead to it's ultimate destruction. I pray for peace, and for the few left who have not been corrupted. I pray that some, hopefully more than a few, will find what matters most..... love of your neighbor and kindness. This will overcome all the corruption and the power that corrupts. Our freedoms are diminishing..... Just some thoughts, and views on the signs of the times.

    August 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    • Steve c

      Goodnight and good luck.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:26 am | Reply
    • Freedom

      That is what the government wants. Soon we will see marhal law, oops I mean state of emergency, and civil unrest, and possible communists liberals topple the government.

      August 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @justified 11,remember who wants all this deregulation in corporations and other related businesses,your republicans of course!!And with more deregulation corporations grow stronger and that's where you lose your basic rights because now many of these corporations if let go wild will be pulling the governments strings that make your life either a heaven or hell..Just think about that next time you want all these big corporations to do what they want...And remember how the gap is widening between the rich and middleclass,poor because with deregulation it'll get outta control and you know it!!

      August 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  7. jboh

    Everyone seems to forget, or choose to ignore, that the info NSA gets comes from ATT, Verizon, and other private sector, for-profit enterprises. I'd much rather have the intel used to track criminals/terrorists, that to harass me w/unwanted ads for garbage I don't want. BTW, most drone use in USA is by large-scale farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Better protect the privacy of those corn borers, gypsy moths, and cattle ticks.

    August 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  8. RTYERTYETYETY

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    August 18, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  9. California

    Only idiots ignore this invasion of privacy. Democrats were against all this (Bush) before they were for it (Obama).

    August 18, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
    • Pete

      @California,you're not only delushional but an idiot as well..Typical troll saying unfactual crap again that can't be backed up,truly a republican minion that spews ignorence,racism...I was against these intrusive policies that Bush,Cheney inacted after 9/11 from the beginning and was told by your legion of ignorents they if I didn't agree move!!I'm still against these policies but the difference between you and I is I have something of a brain between my ears in which you don't and know how to use it!! You don't worry about it because its actually been used for over 30 years since Nixons terms and you can go about your life unless you're thinking of doing something extreme and in your case you just thinking isn't much for Big Brother and his policies to bother with you,right!!So California go back to your hills,your cave and think if you can of how you're going to get through another day with Big Brother watching you,in the meantime I'll just read some more idiotic crap you've posted on other sites to get a good laugh!!

      August 18, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • jboh

      GOP was all for it(Bush/Cheney), before they were against it.

      August 18, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  10. gfhfhfgh

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    August 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  11. USAPeasant

    Lol "Is your privacy safe with drones?"

    Lol that's like asking if it is safe to going swimming with sharks.

    Oh CNN how thou doth love to troll. But this is why I love CNN.

    Forrealz though, keep the drones off American soil, the Government is all ready in enough trouble with the People as it is, no need to dig the hole deeper.

    August 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
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    August 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  13. dfhdfghdgh

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    August 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  14. spencercourt

    Where do folks get the idea that there is a right to privacy in public, at least in the US? No such right exists. If there was one, the papparazzi would all be in jail.

    August 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  15. StanCalif

    I have no personal concerns about my privacy from drones nor the NSA mega data system, with some exceptions!
    As long as these "hi tech" systems are used for general surveillance and are not used to "drill down" to active surveillance of individual citizens without a specific court order. Where these systems become dangerous is when too many "requests" are permitted without proper oversight and legal justification for specific surveillance of named individuals.
    Just imagine how much "fun" Nixon would have had with these tools! Whenever "politics" gets involved, then we definitely have a problem! We need to develop a whole new set of laws to deal with this. Our politicians have increasingly considered themselves "above the law". Today our elected representatives are not patriots, too many are nothing more than political party "lap dogs"! This is our immediate threat!
    Yes, technology can be a good thing (when properly used). And Yes, these tools can be easily misused with severe consequences. I do not believe we have proper safe guards in place to prevent misuse!

    August 17, 2013 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • Poltergiest

      Aren't you the trusting soul?

      August 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  16. Phelix Unger

    Nothing is safe, the resources of the corporation to put it together are already in place. Unless your Houdini, everything you say or do is available to someone. So the answer is no your thinking you have privacy doesn't exist. You want to stay private then unplug.

    Even if you unplug, your drivers license and social security are still known and they can find out pretty much anything they want to know about anybody, but we already knew that.

    So stop asking ridiculous questions.

    August 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • jboh

      Well said. Big Brother will not be government, it will be big business.

      August 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  17. Random

    Short answer:

    Im a generally well intentioned geek. I have no desire to watch you and your wife in bed with thermal imaging. I also have no intention of rigging a sensor to see thru your clothes with IR. But I could for less than 1k$. It will cost police 4 times that but they will do it unlike me. Cameras can easily see thru walls. With some DSP and a bit of math you can clean them up to be comparable to night vision. This kind of thing imho should be reserved to special force police. Swat etc. It should require authorization to use, like with the boston attack. The problem I see is I can do it for 1/4 the price the police can which means any respectable 15 yr old can too.
    The cat is out of the bag now. Not sure you can ever put it back in. The good news is if it is ever used to repress it is easily matched for lowcost. If you know what you are doing.

    August 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • Random

      The key is not to freak out about police having it, its needed as seen in the boston case. I feel the same about this as I do prism. It is a necessary evil, for us to be able to progress science any further. We live in the age where people do blow people up and we can find and stop them with this before its a big problem. Pressure cookers are the least of our worries though, in the very near future tech will progress exponentially, or rather the obscure leaps we have made the last 100 years will come together . Invisibility, genetic modification, designer viruses. I don't want to scare people or sound nuts because I understand what is happening now where most dont. Just know that we need to have these tools designed and ready to use. They will be necessary in the near future. The key is not to ban them, but to carefully lay out what they may be used for.
      I love my country, but our written policies were made in a time the absolute worst you could come up against was a cannon. Times are going to change very quickly in the next 80 years. You probably wont understand what Im warning you about until it happens. Dont disarm the people who will be defending you. Just write new policies that strictly govern what it can be used for. The penalty for misuse of this stuff should be extraordinary. For us, and for the government I have more faith in my fellow geeks than them.

      August 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Reply
      • tax payer

        its not needed outside of private or fed property where everyone is FULLY aware and signed over their rights other than that its a terrible terrible idea...

        August 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  18. Portland tony

    Nothing more than real time google maps. Although the imagery and technology used by the Military, NSA and NASA and other nation's satellites (both commercial and military) are shared, their use is primarily as advertised. However, most can be programmed say during a national disaster to concentrate on a specific location. All the drones will do is provide local real time imagery etc and can be easier to deploy. They will replace the Helicopter for local area surveillance by police and other emergency services. And I'm sure their use will not be stopped by our courts. They will be catagorized as sort of an airborne CCTV. In 25 years, there won't be anywhere left to hide!

    August 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Tortland pony

      Why do you want to hide and from whom?

      August 17, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
      • Portland tony

        I want to hide when I scratch my privates!

        August 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • Tortland pony

        I don't see a point in hiding from city drones for testicle scratching publicly, unless you're planning on scratch it of your friend !!

        August 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
      • Portland tony

        You are serious aren't you?

        August 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • Tortland pony

        No Tony, I was just making fun of you; hope, I did not offend you.

        August 19, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  19. World Chaos News

    Reblogged this on World Chaos News.

    August 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  20. George patton

    I hope the city drones are not accused of racial profiling !!

    August 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Aren't you afraid of having your privacy violated, Phunnie boy? But on the other hand, if the police use these aircraft to catch criminals, I tend to agree with you. I just want the right-wing politicians using this activity for their political ends.

      August 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
      • George patton

        Phonnie boy, I always laugh at most of the stories, but one thing I know, my kids are never going to see the country USA I saw....free country in true sense.

        August 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

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