Privacy: Surveillance tech goes mainstream at CES

Privacy: Surveillance tech goes mainstream at CES

Nestled in the “smart home” and “smart city” showrooms at the sprawling Las Vegas consumer tech conference are devices that see, hear and track the people they encounter. Some of them also analyze their looks and behavior. The technology on display includes eyelid-tracking car dashboard cameras to prevent distracted driving and “rapid DNA” kits for identifying a person from a cheek swab sample.

Source: CES Gadget Show: Surveillance is in – and in a big way

The sole purpose of technology is becoming surveillance.

The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding mandated “remote ID” of all small UAS aircraft (quadcopter, model aircraft) in the United States. (For details, see

A side effect of their NPRM is that small model aircraft flown inside homes would be required to transmit, in real time, once per second, to an FAA Internet cloud database, their operational status including location and information about the person doing the operating (via unique serial number linked to name, phone number, address and so on and the operator’s real time location while operating the craft). The database would be accessible by law enforcement. 

This seems problematic in terms of the 4th Amendment, but alas, I am an engineer, not a lawyer. This implies, to me, that the FAA is requiring us to enable them to conduct a search of what is going on inside our home. Possibly by children under age 13. 

This problem occurs because the FAA will require all small UAS to have functioning remote ID in order to fly regardless of where flown. The FAA prohibits any method of turning off the remote ID, even indoors. Thus, indoor flight would be tracked by the FAA, in real time. (And where GPS is not available, which is most homes, businesses, mines, caves, etc, then the FAA is de facto banning indoor small UAS flight which means the FAA is regulating indoor airspace inspite of having no legal jurisdiction there.)

If you don’t see the problem, consider this in a different context. Assume the Federal Communications Commission requires remote ID of televisions. Each time someone turns on the TV, the FCC requires that you log in an FCC Internet database the name of the operator and program being watched. Do you see the 4th Amendment problem now?

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