Past Features

March 21, 2017

Can drones identify illegal
border crossers on the spot? -- March 20
U.S. legislators move to limit drone surveillance and facial recognition
    Bicameral legislation was introduced last week to the U.S. houses of congress by Senator Edward J. Markey and Rep. Peter Welch to protect individual privacy from the growing number of government and commercial drones in use. The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act (PDF) has been referred to the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and Commerce.
    “What happens if there are drones that are gathering, through facial recognition, who is shopping on Main Street and selling that to advertisers?” Markey told a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on future drone use, Axios reports. [...]
    “The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act requires transparency in domestic drone use and adds privacy protections that ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans.”

American Patrol Report  
Making an exception for the border  
    As we reported earlier, Border Technology, Inc., of Hereford, Arizona, is preparing a proposal to DHS/CBP that involves the use of drones on the border.
    As shown in this video, technology known as SEIDARM directs the drone (IDENTICOPTER) where to find the intruders. Once spotted, IDENTICOPTER could use special software to not only track suspects automatically, it could even identify them using facial recognition. (ABP suggested this possibility last summer.)
    According to Glenn Spencer, President of Border Technology, the main challenge is getting the drone close enough to track suspects and get facial recognition. "As far as I know, SEIDARM is the only technology that can do that effectively across the entire border," Spencer said.
    The growing movement to protect citizens from the prying eyes of drones should not limit the use of such capabilities in protecting America in a limited designated border zone by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Note: Legislation being considered in the Senate does have provisions for law enforcement